Downing Street has said the treatment of UK fans at the World Cup is being closely monitored after rainbow bucket hats were confiscated from Wales supporters in Qatar.
Former Wales team captain Laura McAllister, who is an ambassador for her country at the tournament, was among a number of supporters calling for the caps to be removed.
Some have claimed they were told it was a “banned symbol”, while FIFA previously stated that rainbow-coloured flags and clothing are not banned in stadiums.
Same-sex relationships are outlawed in the Gulf state, but the host country’s organizers have repeatedly stated that “everyone is welcome” to contest.
When asked about the incident, the Prime Minister’s official spokesman said: “Obviously this is not the approach that this government would take if we were to host a tournament.
“LGBT rights are a fundamental part of the United Kingdom.
“We have raised concerns about LGBT visitors with Qatari authorities at all levels ahead of the tournament and obviously we will continue to monitor carefully.”
He added: “We will be carefully monitoring UK fans in the area and how they are treated and obviously people are going there to enjoy the football tournament, and we believe the Qataris will focus on that as well.” would like to.” , facilitating people who support their teams.
The Football Association of Wales (FAW) said they were “extremely disappointed” by the actions of staff towards fans at the Ahmed Bin Ali Stadium, revealing members of the FAW team were among those who were asked to remove their caps.
In the statement, the FAW said they were gathering information on the alleged incidents and would speak to them directly with FIFA on Tuesday.
News that fans wearing rainbow apparel were denied entry to the stadium and told to place their belongings among lost property sparked outrage.
Ms McAllister said she was furious at being asked to take off her hat, but told ITV it was important to “stick to our values”.
“I think we got a lot of warnings that this was not going to be a World Cup where human rights and LGBT rights and women’s rights were really respected,” she said.
“But coming from a country like Wales, we were very keen that we still take a stand.”
The PA news agency was made aware of at least one male Wales fan who was said to have taken off his bucket hat after being “upset and angry”.
It has been reported that American sports journalist Grant Wahl was even barred from sports for wearing a rainbow T-shirt until he changed.
Tim Hartley, Wales fan and head of fan charity Goal Cymru, told PA: “This whole tournament leaves a bad taste in the mouth.
“Just when you think FIFA and Qatar can’t get it any more wrong, they do something like this.”
Some fans have claimed that they were told that the rainbow-colored items were being confiscated for their own safety.
A PA reporter witnessed an American fan traveling to a Wales match being threatened by a man who appeared to be a Qatari supporter for carrying a miniature rainbow flag on the subway.
The man threatened to “kill” the fan and said “the flag is banned in this country”.
Wales and the American fans had to intervene to calm the situation.
The Wales and England teams made a last-minute U-turn on wearing One-Love armbands after FIFA threatened their captains Gareth Bale and Harry Kane with playing bans.
Despite this, former England footballer and BBC pundit Alex Scott wore the armband during the live broadcast of an England match against Iran.
Wales fans have also complained that many of their large banners and flags were confiscated to allow them into the stadium, despite having pre-registered them the week before, as required by FIFA.
Some of those who were asked to put their flags in storage reported that their banners were missing at the end of the game, and appealed on social media to find them.
Credit: www.independent.co.uk /