Grant Wahl, an American sports reporter, said that he was first turned away from Monday night’s World Cup game between the United States and Wales.
After England’s ruthless 6-2 win over Iran earlier in the day got Group B off to a great start, all eyes quickly turned to the important match at the Ahmad bin Ali Stadium.
Many fans thought England would win the group and Iran would come in last, so there had been a quiet feeling for a long time that the USA vs. Wales game could decide who comes in second.
What happened to the US reporter before the game with Wales?
But before the important game even started, Wahl told his 837,000 Twitter followers what happened when he tried to get into the stadium. This caused a lot of controversy.
Wahl, who has worked for CBS Sports, Sports Illustrated, and Fox Sports, said that his attempts to enlist the help of the public failed.
The well-known reporter and author was wearing a black shirt with a design of a football surrounded by a rainbow, which is a well-known sign of LGBTQ+ pride.
But Wahl was initially turned away because of this piece of clothing. This led him to explain the situation on Twitter, where hundreds of thousands of football fans quickly expressed their anger.
At about 16:00 (GMT), Wahl wrote on Twitter:
Just now: Security guard refusing to let me into the stadium for USA-Wales. “You have to change your shirt. It’s not allowed.”
Then, about 45 minutes later, he gave the following update on social media:
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.
Are rainbow flags allowed at Qatar 2022 though?
Earlier this year, the head of Qatar’s World Cup told Sky News that rainbow flags would be allowed at the event.
Since the tournament has already started, it is unclear why Wahl’s t-shirt caused so much trouble before the USA vs. Wales game, but it is good to hear that the problem was eventually solved and the reporter was able to keep wearing his shirt.
But the fact that the incident happened at all won’t help LGBTQ+ people who have been worried about going to Qatar this winter.