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Who is the streaker who interrupted the Portugal vs Uruguay World Cup game? What was his message?

Who ran onto the pitch with an LGBT flag during Portugal - Uruguay at the Lusail Stadium?

Joe Brennan
LUSAIL CITY, QATAR - NOVEMBER 28: A protester on the pitch with 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. (Photo by Manuel Reino Berengui/DeFodi Images via Getty Images)
DeFodi ImagesGetty

In the 51st minute of the game between Portugal and Uruguay at the Lusail Stadium, a pitch invader ran out onto the pitch holding an LGBT rainbow flag. The game was abruptly stopped and he was escorted away. He was wearing a blue t-shirt with a Superman logo on the front along with the words ‘SAVE UKRAINE’; on the back he had the sentence ‘RESPECT FOR IRANIAN WOMEN’ printed on it.

Qatar has come under constant fire during the tournament for its LGBT rights: being gay is currently illegal in the country, and many people have had rainbow items confiscated upon entry into stadiums across Qatar. Seven football federations were due to wear rainbow armbands with the words OneLove written on them, but FIFA banned the initiative, reportedly threatening sporting sanction if the teams did not comply and wear the FIFA branded accessory. The reaction was severe, with many FAs publicly showing their frustration.

What ideas was he promoting?

The move by the streaker was caught on Qatari broadcaster BeIN Sports before the channel quickly cut away. The streaker was obviously supporting many different ideas of inclusion, equality and basic rights of freedom, all things that have come under scrutiny at the Qatar World Cup 2022.

The streaker dropped the flag as he ran around the pitch in Doha, and Iranian referee Alireza Faghari picked it up and gave it to officials.