Ahead of England’s World Cup match against the United States on Friday, soccer’s governing body FIFA said the crusader uniforms worn by England fans were “offensive”.
Some England fans attend sporting events dressed as the English Shepherd Saint George, complete with plastic helmets, crosses and swords.
FIFA told CNN: “Crusader fashion in an Arab or Middle Eastern context can be offensive to Muslims. That is why fellow anti-discrimination have asked fans to wear things inside out or change their clothes.”
Christian armies fought Muslims for more than 200 years to regain control of Jerusalem and the surrounding areas that had been under Islamic rule.
FIFA says it “strives to create an environment free from discrimination, and to promote diversity across the organization and in all of its activities and events”.
During the tournament in Qatar, soccer fans’ apparel was in the spotlight – particularly any rainbow-colored apparel or kit.
The rainbow flag is a symbol of LGBT rights, and homosexuality is illegal in Qatar.
At Ahmed Bin Ali Stadium on Monday, ahead of the United States Men’s National Team (USMNT) match with Wales, US soccer journalist Grant Wahl and former Wales captain Laura McCallister said they were asked to remove rainbow-colored clothing by security. staff.
Wahl said he was arrested and briefly refused entry to the match because of the “rainbow football shirt” he was wearing. Twitter The security men told him, “You have to change your shirt. This is not allowed.”
Wahl wrote on Substack: “A security guard told me my shirt was ‘political’ and not allowed.
Wahl told CNN on Tuesday that he had been assured in advance that he would be allowed to wear the rainbow apparel, and that he would “probably” wear the jersey again because “there’s nothing to be afraid of here.”
McAllister, who captained the Welsh women’s national football team in the 1990s, said she was stopped by security officials and confiscated her rainbow-coloured cap before she was allowed into the Ahmed bin Ali stadium.
“So, despite the kind words from FIFA WorldCup before the event, Cymru (Wales) rainbow bucket hats were confiscated at the stadium, including mine,” McAllister said. chirp from the accident.
“I had a conversation about this with the hosts – we have video evidence. This #WorldCup2022 is getting better, but we will continue to stand up for our values,” McAllister added.
The Football Association of Wales (FAW) said FIFA had informed the federation on Thursday that it would allow rainbow colored flags and hats to be hosted at World Cup stadiums in Qatar.
She added on Twitter: “The FAW urges FIFA to live up to its message that everyone will be welcome in Qatar during the World Cup and to continue to highlight any other human rights issues. We remain our belief that football is for everyone.”
When asked to clarify the dress code, Fifa referred CNN to the tournament’s handbook, which states, “Expats and tourists are free to wear the clothing of their choice, as long as it is modest and respectful of the culture.”
This handbook also states that “body protective equipment,” “weapons of any kind,” and “items with political, offensive, or discriminatory messages” are prohibited.
Apart from this document, FIFA has a human rights monitor within each stadium and they will be responsible for determining what is acceptable or not.