An LGBT flag in support of homosexuals whose freedoms are violated in Qatar, a football shirt flocked with a “Save Ukraine” in front, and “Respect Iranian women” behind… Human rights took to the field at the World Cup on Monday 28 November: during the match between Portugal and Uruguay, an Italian named Mario Ferri crossed the pitch at the Lusail stadium in Doha.
In the 52nd minute of the match, after running across the pitch for around 30 seconds in front of the players without reacting, the man was tackled to the ground by a steward and then calmly escorted by security off the pitch. The scene was shown only fleetingly on television. The 30-year-old was quickly released “without further consequence”the Italian Foreign Ministry announced on Tuesday.
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On his Instagram account, Mario Ferri posted stories filmed from inside the Lusail stadium in Doha, the last one being taken at half-time. Nicknamed ” The Falcon “, the man is used to this type of intrusion in the stadiums. During the 2014 World Cup in Brazil, he entered the field during Belgium-United States with a T-shirt bearing the inscriptions “Save the children of the favelas” and “Ciro Vive”in tribute to a Napoli supporter killed shortly before, reports the Italian agency AGI.
“Fifa banned rainbow captain’s armbands and human rights flags from the stands, they blocked everyone BUT NOT ME, like a Robin Hood”wrote Mario Ferri, considering that“breaking the rules for a good cause is never a crime. »
A footballer playing in lower division clubs, Mario Ferri defines himself as “a modern hacker”. According to the ‘Gazzetta dello Sport’, he has played in India, Switzerland, San Marino, Seychelles and Jordan. “SAVE UKRAINE. I spent a month in the war in kyiv as a volunteer and saw how much these people are suffering”he also wrote, declaring that he wanted to pass “important messages”especially for Iran “where I have friends who suffer, where women are not respected. »
A first in Qatar
It is the first time that a match has been marked by such intrusion since the start of the competition organized in Qatar, in the face of Western criticism over the treatment of people from the LGBT + community and the rights of migrant workers. In the small emirate, homosexuality is liable to criminal prosecution; for lesbians, gays, bis and trans of the Muslim faith, it is even the death penalty that is incurred.
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“We know what is happening around this World Cup. Of course, we are with them, with Iran too, Iranian women. I hope nothing happens to this boy because we understand his message, and I think the world understands it too.”commented the Portuguese Ruben Neves after the match.
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If FIFA assured that flags or clothes in the colors of the rainbow would be accepted in the stadiums, in fact these were confiscated on several occasions by the security forces.