World Cup officials in Qatar are clearly unaware that not every rainbow on a flag is associated with gay pride. A couple of Brazil fans learned this the hard way when stopped by officials outside of the arena in Doha earlier this week.
The two Brazilian fans in question were carrying a flag of the Brazilian State of Pernambuco. The flag has a rainbow going across the top of it. Qatari officials interpreted this symbol as a pro-LGBTQ symbol, even though the two are not associated with one another whatsoever.
Homosexuality is illegal in Qatar and punishable by prison.
According to journalist Victor Pereira, authorities took the flag from the fans, threw it to the ground, and stomped on it.
There is no actual video of Qatari officials trampling the flag because, as Pereira notes, he was forced to delete that clip from his recording device.
News website G1 reported the news and explained that the Pernambuco flag has no connection to gay pride.
“The rainbow on the flag of Pernambuco symbolizes the union of all Pernambuco and makes reference to the diversity of those who came together around an ideal. It has been present on the state flag since 1817, the year of the Pernambuco Revolution, which made Pernambuco independent from Portugal for 70 days,” the news site reported.
No Rainbows In Qatar
This is far from the first gay-pride-associated story to come out of Qatar since the tournament officially began on Sunday.
American journalist Grant Wahl tweeted earlier in the week he was not allowed into a World Cup stadium in Qatar due to his shirt having a rainbow flag across the front of it.