Renowned US soccer reporter Grant Wahl shared an ordeal he endured on Day 2 of the Qatar 2022 World Cup. The journalist, who ran for FIFA president in 2011, showed up to the Al Thumama Stadium in Doha wearing a shirt that had a rainbow surrounding a soccer ball.
Immediately, a stadium guard told him: “You have to change your shirt. It’s not allowed.”
While it was made clear that same-sex relationships are illegal in Qatar, FIFA had been clear in saying that the rainbow flag would be welcomed at the 2022 World Cup. The goalposts, figuratively, seem to be changing after just a few days since the inaugural Qatar-Ecuador game.
On his Substack channel, Grant Wahl proceeds to explain in detail what occurred. The USMNT reporter refused to remove his shirt, which caused a guard to forcibly confiscate his cell phone and to detain him for nearly half an hour.
The reason Grant Wahl was detained in Qatar
According to Wahl, the guards told him his shirt was “political” and also held New York Times reporter Andrew Das along with him when he was passing by and wanted to be informed of what was going on.
Wahl was “annoyed” as he was missing a lengthy part of the Senegal-Netherlands game that was happening in the background.
Finally, a security commander appeared and apologized to Wahl. He said they wanted to protect him from any aggression he could have faced from locals. Once the ordeal had transpired, he also received an apology from a FIFA representative who had been made aware of the situation that unfolded.