The Football Association of Wales (FAW) claims that FIFA has told World Cup venues to allow rainbow-coloured merchandise into stadiums for the remainder of the Qatar tournament. According to the Independent, FIFA said Qatar had given it assurances that the colours would be allowed, following several instances of flags being confiscated.
In response to the FAW, FIFA has confirmed that fans with Rainbow Wall bucket hats and rainbow flags will be allowed entry to the stadium for @Cymru’s match against Iran on Friday.
All World Cup venues have been contacted and instructed to follow the agreed rules & regulations. pic.twitter.com/9XRlx98V6h
— FA WALES (@FAWales) November 24, 2022
The FAW tweeted this announcement, claiming that rainbow Welsh merchandise will be permissible for the duration of the tournament, and that the relevant venues have been informed of this decision. It remains to be seen, however, whether this exception will expand beyond Welsh fans, as reported by the Independent.
The colours have been a point of contention for the World Cup host Qatar; as some fans and players have attempted to show solidarity with the LGBTQ+ community in face of Qatar’s own laws and customs which prohibit homosexuality.
In recent days, there have been several instances of Qatar security officers confronting fans. This, in some instances, included cases of misidentification. For example, Welsh fans, who were adorned with their national colours—red, yellow, white, and green—were told to remove their garments. Meanwhile, a Brazilian journalist was “hassled” outside a stadium after the Regional Brazilian flag was mistaken for an LGBTQ+ symbol. Separately, many players have been asked not to wear the One Love armband: a candid symbol of solidarity with the LGBTQ+ community.
Accordingly, several international federations have raised their concerns with FIFA, as they were informed this would be “an open World Cup.” The FAW “urges FIFA to adhere to their message that everybody will be welcome in Qatar [and] that football is for everyone.”