Reporter denied entry to World Cup over LGBTQ symbol and told ‘change shirt’

A World Cup reporter was allegedly denied entry to the USA vs Wales game after turning up wearing an LGBTQ+ symbol.

American Grant Wahl, a journalist for CBS Sports, donned a t-shirt which had a rainbow surrounding a football on it as he attended the Ahmad Bin Ali Stadium. He claims a security guard refused to let him in until he changed his clothing.

The 47-year-old tweeted: "Security guard refusing to let me into the stadium for USA-Wales. 'You have to change your shirt. It’s not allowed.'"

READ MORE: Fans love Alex Scott wearing the banned One Love rainbow armband at Qatar World Cup

He was eventually let into the ground and didn't have to change his t-shirt, later posting: "I’m OK, but that was an unnecessary ordeal. Am in the media center, still wearing my shirt. Was detained for nearly half an hour. Go gays."

Explaining what had happened on his blog, Wahl wrote he'd been detained for a total of 25 minutes, during which time he had his phone taken from him and guards repeatedly told him to remove his t-shirt.

He said a commander then approached him to tell him they were letting him in and apologised for his ordeal. A FIFA representative also apologised to Wahl.

It comes just hours after FIFA threatened to punish teams who wore the OneLove armband during matches by making the referee book their captain before the game got underway.

England and Wales subsequently backed out from their planned protests. BBC pundit Alex Scott wore the armband pitchside while covering England's 6-2 win against Iran.

FIFA had previously advised that visitors would be allowed to wear the rainbow flag in Qatar, despite same-sex relationships being illegal in the Gulf nation.


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