World Cup 2022 pitch invader wears ‘Save Ukraine’ shirt and holds pride flag during Portugal vs Uruguay

Statement: The pitch invader  (AP)
Statement: The pitch invader (AP)

A pitch invader at the World Cup in Qatar jumped the barriers and interrupted Portugal vs Uruguay wearing a ‘Save Ukraine’ t-shirt while holding a pride flag.

The back of the t-shirt read: “Respect for Iranian Women”.

The man, reportedly identified as Mario Ferri, was eventually tackled by security staff before being taken away, with the pride flag left on the pitch until Iranian referee Alireza Faghani retrieved it.

The Group H game was paused for less than five minutes until Iranian referee Alireza Faghani retrieved the flag. The incident happened during the second half of the game before Bruno Fernandes had given Portugal the lead.

 (REUTERS)
(REUTERS)

It is the latest statement at a World Cup where politics has never been more at the fore, given host nation Qatar’s abysmal human rights record.

Qatar’s record on LGBTQ and women’s rights, along with its treatment of foreign workers who helped build the tournament stadia, has long been under the spotlight.

There have been a number of reports from visiting fans and media who have had clothes and other possessions, such as watches the hats, with rainbow colours, either confiscated or saw their entry into games denied.

More follows.