Qatar World Cup: The 3 Items Of Clothing Stirring Controversy

The host nation's rules mean fans have been restricted in their outfits.
Fans' attire (and that of the players) has hit the headlines this week
Fans' attire (and that of the players) has hit the headlines this week

Qatar’s rules around what fans and players can and can’t wear inside the stadium has drawn significant backlash, leading to one Fifa U-turn already.

HuffPost UK looks at the items of clothing which have made the headlines after just five days of football.

1. Rainbow items prohibited, then allowed

Rainbow flags and bucket hats were initially banned from the stadiums, and some claimed that they even had their rainbow-coloured items confiscated.

As a symbol of inclusion associated with the LGBTQ+ community, Qatar – which is known for its anti-LGBTQ+ stance – ruled any objects with the pattern out among fans.

However, Fifa then confirmed on Friday that Welsh fans were permitted to wear rainbow bucket hats and flags into the stadium as their team played Iran.

This is a significant U-turn from Fifa, considering rainbow items were confiscated before Wales’s match against the US earlier this week.

Even so, the Football Association of Wales (FAW) said Qatar venues were advised to follow these agreed rules and regulations.

However, the agreement is between Fifa and the FAW only.

FAW chief executive Neil Mooney said that the association was “appalled” when they heard rainbow bucket hats were being taken away from fans, especially after Fifa promised “an open and inclusive World Cup”.

“It should never have been the case that they were confiscated in the first place. We have it in writing from Fifa that they’re okay to wear whatever they wish.”

Wales fans wearing rainbow hats during the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 Group B match between Wales and Iran in Qatar
Wales fans wearing rainbow hats during the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 Group B match between Wales and Iran in Qatar
Richard Sellers via Getty Images

2. Crusader uniform not allowed

On Wednesday, England fans tried to enter the Qatar stadiums in full crusader costume. This included chainmail, plastic swords and shields with the St George cross.

While it is a throwback to a part of British history, the English crusaders were known for raping and killing Arabs in an attempt to conquer their land during the Middle Ages. It was part of the religious motivated-wars Christians initiated against Muslims.

Anti-discrimination group Kick It Out also recommended fans avoid wearing such outfits (including those which replicated medieval knights), because it “may not be welcomed in Qatar and other Islamic countries”.

It added: “Foreign Office travel advice issued before the tournament expressed that fans should familiarise themselves with local customs, and we would encourage fans to take this approach.”

Qatar authorities have since banned people trying to approach the stadium in these outfits.

3. Still no OneLove armbands for teams

Seven European countries competing in the tournament had planned for their team captains to wear OneLove armbands as a gesture of inclusion against Qatar’s human rights record.

However, Fifa threatened to give any players wearing the armband a yellow card during Qatar games.

Instead, captains wore the Fifa-approved anti-discrimination armbands.

Germany seemed to protest Fifa’s decision earlier this week, when the team posed with their hands over their mouths, which head coach Hansi Flick said was meant to show “Fifa is silencing” teams.

No disciplinary action will be taken against Germany’s players.

England is yet to take a public stand against Fifa’s decision, although head coach Gareth Southgate has not ruled it out.

He said: “I think we’ve got to be comfortable that we know what we stand for. That’s not to say we won’t do anything moving forward if the timing’s right, but I think we are rushing to be seen to be doing something, we could make an error that doesn’t land well.”

The German interior minister Nancy Faeser was seen wearing the OneLove armband from the stands, while UK commentator Alex Scott wore hers while broadcasting live from inside the stadium.

Harry Kane, England's captain, wearing the anti-discrimination armband
Harry Kane, England's captain, wearing the anti-discrimination armband
Visionhaus via Getty Images

What's Hot