Rainbow hats and flags are allowed in World Cup stadiums after the Fifa turnaround

Fans react as Gareth Bale of Wales converts a penalty kick during the Group B match of FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 between USA and Wales at Ahmad Bin Ali Stadium, Ar-Rayyan, Qatar November 21, 2022. Photo by Peter Dovgan. Editorial use only, license required for commercial use. No use in betting, games or individual club/league/player publications.

The Welsh FA said the governing body has confirmed fans will be allowed to play against Iran (Image: Peter Dovgan/UK Sports Pics Ltd)

Fifa have given the go-ahead for rainbow bucket hats and flags at the stadium as Wales and England prepare for their second World Cup games today.

The Football Association of Wales (FAW) said the governing body has confirmed fans will be allowed to play against Iran after being confiscated ahead of Wales’ 1-1 draw with the United States.

The FAW urged Fifa to stick to its message throughout the tournament that “everyone will be welcome” in Qatar after the first week was marred by dealings with LGBTQ+ icons.

All eyes will be on the Wales and England players to see if they follow the German lead and assert themselves ahead of the game.

England boss Gareth Southgate hasn’t ruled out his team making a gesture to highlight human rights concerns ahead of the game against the United States, but said they are not being pressured.

Germany’s players covered their mouths during a team photo ahead of their 2-1 defeat by Japan to show that “FIFA is silencing us” by stopping attempts to wear rainbow-colored bracelets linked to the OneLove campaign are connected.

The Danish Football Association said it was ready to withdraw from Fifa altogether over the controversy.

Wales Rainbow Hat

Rainbow hats confiscated from fans ahead of USA game


A rainbow corner flag at the Wales team’s training facility in Al-Sadd, Doha (Image: PA)

Germany's fans in rainbow jerseys await the Group F World Cup soccer match between Belgium and Canada on Wednesday, November 23, 2022 at Ahmad Bin Ali Stadium in Doha, Qatar. (AP Photo/Martin Meissner)

Germany’s supporters wear OneLove anti-discrimination T-shirts (Image: AP)

FAW said in a statement: “In response to FAW, Fifa has confirmed that fans wearing rainbow wall bucket hats and rainbow flags will be granted entry to the stadium for Cymrus’ game against Iran on Friday.

“All World Cup venues have been contacted and instructed to comply with agreed rules and regulations.

“FAW calls on Fifa to stick to its message that everyone will be welcome in Qatar during the World Cup and to continue to highlight any further human rights issues.

“We remain convinced that football is for everyone.”

Seven European nations participating in the World Cup – including Germany, England and Wales – planned to wear OneLove anti-discrimination bracelets during the tournament but were stopped from doing so due to threats of sporting sanctions from the governing body.

Southgate said: “I think we have to be comfortable that we know what we stand for.

“That’s not to say we won’t do anything if the timing is right, but I think we’re rushing to be seen doing something, we could make a mistake that doesn’t land well.”

Unclear handles: Ex-Wales captain Laura McAllister is among female football fans who were told to take off their rainbow bucket hats at the Qatar stadium. Photo credit: ITV News

Ex-Wales captain Laura McAllister was among female football fans urged to take off rainbow bucket hats (Image: ITV News)

England fan Karen Barham, 60, asked if the Three Lions players should follow Germany’s lead, saying: “Yes, if they can keep it under wraps they’re doing something well coordinated but nothing has been leaked in advance.

‘What are you going to do? Do you book the whole team?’

The Guildford, Surrey barrister noted the US players were tough in their opening game before saying of England’s chances: “I’m cautiously optimistic, I think we’ll win again but we could do with one or two Injured players come out.’

Temperatures could reach 29C when Wales play Iran at 13:00 local time, 10:00 UK time at the 40,000-capacity Ahmad Bin Ali Stadium in Doha.

Ryan Tobin, 29, from Bridgend, South Wales, is hoping the rest of the tournament goes well for Wales.

He said of Iran: “You will be used to the heat, but I think we should be okay.”

Dylan Thomas, 28, from Maesteg, South Wales, joked: “As soon as I start talking about it I get nervous.”

England will be looking to build on their 6-2 win over Iran when they travel to the 60,000-seat Al Bayt Stadium north of Doha in Al Khor.

A win secures entry into the knockout stages.

Temperatures could hover around 25C when the game starts at 10pm local time, 7pm in the UK.

Fans traveling to the game have been advised not to wear costumes depicting knights or crusaders.

A spokeswoman for anti-discrimination group Kick It Out said: “We would like to advise fans attending FIFA World Cup matches that certain attire, such as costumes depicting knights or crusaders, may not be welcome in Qatar and other Islamic countries.

“The travel advice issued by the German Foreign Office ahead of the tournament said that fans should familiarize themselves with local customs and we would encourage fans to take that approach.”

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https://metro.co.uk/2022/11/25/rainbow-hats-and-flags-allowed-in-world-cup-stadiums-after-fifa-u-turn-17825817/ Rainbow hats and flags are allowed in World Cup stadiums after the Fifa turnaround

Justin Scacco

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