A US reporter has claimed he was denied entry into the USMNT's opening World Cup Group B clash against Wales for wearing a rainbow-themed t-shirt in support of LGBTQ+ rights.
Since being awarded the World Cup in 2010, hosts Qatar have been criticised for their stance on LGBTQ+ rights.
Homosexuality is currently illegal in the country under Islamic State Sharia law.
On Monday, United States-based reporter Grant Wahl attempted to enter the Ahmad Bin Ali Stadium wearing a t-shirt with a football on it, surrounded by a rainbow.
He tweeted that he had been denied entry into the stadium for wearing the t-shirt.
Wahl's message reads: "Just now: Security guard refusing to let me into the stadium for USA-Wales. 'You have to change your shirt. It’s not allowed.'"
Shortly after, Wahl sent a follow-up in which he claimed he was 'detained' for nearly half an hour.
He said: "I’m OK, but that was an unnecessary ordeal. Am in the media centre, still wearing my shirt. Was detained for nearly half an hour. Go gays."
Earlier on Monday, a host of nations backed down from wearing a 'One Love' armband in support of the LGBTQ+ community.
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 🌈 https://t.co/S3INBoCz89— Subscribe to GrantWahl.com (@GrantWahl) November 21, 2022
Players were threatened with bookings if they wore the armbands. BBC Sport presenter Alex Scott received praise for wearing the armband during the station's coverage of England's 6-2 win over Iran.
Scott also claimed it 'would've been easy' to boycott the tournament.
The former Arsenal star said: "I've had conversations about, 'I should be staying at home, I should be boycotting' and I thought long and hard about it. I think that for me personally would have been the easy option.
"I love my job and when I think about it sitting here and having the harder conversations and it's bigger isn't it? We're talking about migrant workers, we're talking about the LGBT+ community, we're talking about women's rights.
"You think about four years ago, I was thinking about it this morning, I was the first female pundit for the BBC at the World Cup. You think how far we've moved in the last four years.
"Let's hope in the next four years at the world cup we're never having to have those conversations again."
Featured Image Credit: Grant Wahl/Twitter & BBC Sport
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