Rainbow-flag carrying protester brings Portugal vs Uruguay to a halt




A pitch invader wearing a shirt reading \"Respect for Iranian woman\" holds a rainbow flag during the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 Group H match between Portugal and Uruguay at Lusail Stadium on November 28, 2022 in Lusail City, Qatar. - Lars Baron/Getty Images
A pitch invader wearing a shirt reading \"Respect for Iranian woman\" holds a rainbow flag during the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 Group H match between Portugal and Uruguay at Lusail Stadium on November 28, 2022 in Lusail City, Qatar. - Lars Baron/Getty Images  

Portugal's World Cup match with Uruguay was temporarily halted after an individual waving a rainbow pride flag invaded the pitch in protest of Qatar's anti-gay laws, before being dragged away by security.

The Group H match at the Lusail Stadium was paused a few minutes into the second half when a man ran onto the field.

Waving a rainbow flag above him, the man had the message 'Respect for Iranian women' printed on the back of his T-shirt, and managed to evade security who were lining the perimeter of the pitch.

A protester on the pitch with rainbow flag and frre ukraine t shirt during the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 Group H match between Portugal and Uruguay at Lusail Stadium on November 28, 2022 in Lusail City, Qatar.
A protester on the pitch with rainbow flag and frre ukraine t shirt during the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 Group H match between Portugal and Uruguay at Lusail Stadium on November 28, 2022 in Lusail City, Qatar.  
A pitch invader wearing a shirt reading \"Respect for Iranian woman\" holds a rainbow flag during the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 Group H match between Portugal and Uruguay at Lusail Stadium on November 28, 2022 in Lusail City, Qatar - Justin Setterfield/Getty Images
A pitch invader wearing a shirt reading \"Respect for Iranian woman\" holds a rainbow flag during the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 Group H match between Portugal and Uruguay at Lusail Stadium on November 28, 2022 in Lusail City, Qatar - Justin Setterfield/Getty Images  

The front of his T-shirt read 'Save Ukraine', an apparent reference to the Russian invasion that has seen the country banned from this World Cup by organisers Fifa. The T-shirt also had the Superman logo emblazoned across the front.

ITV turned their cameras away from the protestor, who was eventually detained by security and led away. "We won't glorify that by showing it to you further," said ITV commentator Jon Champion.

A pitch invader wearing a Superman t-shirt bearing the phrase Save Ukraine is shackled by security staff during the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 Group H match between Portugal and Uruguay at Lusail Stadium on November 28, 2022 in Lusail City, Qata - Youssef Loulidi/Fantasista/Getty Images
A pitch invader wearing a Superman t-shirt bearing the phrase Save Ukraine is shackled by security staff during the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 Group H match between Portugal and Uruguay at Lusail Stadium on November 28, 2022 in Lusail City, Qata - Youssef Loulidi/Fantasista/Getty Images  
A protester on the pitch with rainbow flag and frre ukraine t shirt during the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 Group H match between Portugal and Uruguay at Lusail Stadium on November 28, 2022 in Lusail City, Qatar - Marc Atkins/Getty Images
A protester on the pitch with rainbow flag and frre ukraine t shirt during the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 Group H match between Portugal and Uruguay at Lusail Stadium on November 28, 2022 in Lusail City, Qatar - Marc Atkins/Getty Images  

Fifa have come under heavy fire after they threatened 'sporting sanctions' against the seven European nations, including England and Wales, if their captains wore the 'OneLove' armband in protest of discrimination, homophobia and the mistreatment of migrant workers in Qatar, who are hosting the World Cup for the first time.

Harry Kane, the England captain, chose against wearing the armband for their opening match against Iran last week due to the risk of an immediate yellow card and, the Football Association believed, potential action that included the match being called off.

That match saw the Iranian players protest against the nation's regime by not singing the national anthem, in solidarity with people back home who have been taking action against the government over the treatment of women. The death of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini while in police custody has triggered a public uprising and has fuelled several protests from fans at the World Cup, with Iranians wearing T-shirts and holding up banners in support of womens' rights.

The incident on Monday was the first instance of a pitch invasion at Qatar 2022. The 2018 Fifa World Cup final between France and Croatia also saw a pitch-invasion protest take place when four members of the Russian punk and arts collective group Pussy Riot ran onto the field, with the group calling for political prisoners to be released among other reasons against the Russian government.

Pitch invasions are normally treated as a criminal offence, which are handled by local authorities rather than Fifa. In 2018, the four protestors were each sentenced to 15 days in prison following a court hearing.

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