World Cup 2022: Soccer Reporter Detained in Qatar for Wearing Rainbow Shirt

A soccer journalist from the United States said he was detained by security staff in Qatar after wearing a rainbow shirt to Team USA's World Cup match against Wales. Grant Wahl, who works for CBS Sports and writes a Substack column, wore the shirt as a show of solidarity with the  LGBTQ+ community to the game at Qatar's Ahmad bin Ali Stadium. The security guard told him the shirt is not allowed as homosexuality is illegal in Qatar. 

Wahl also said his phone was "forcibly ripped" from his hands by a guard as he was tweeting about the incident. He added he was detained for 25 minutes and was told to remove his shirt, which a staff member said was "political." A New York Times journalist who was passing by was told about the incident by Wahl and he was also detained. 

"Then a security commander approached me," Wahl wrote in his Substack column about the incident. "He said they were letting me through and apologized. We shook hands. One of the security guards told me they were just trying to protect me from fans inside who could harm me for wearing the shirt … A Fifa rep later apologized to me as well. But the entire episode left me wondering: What's it like for ordinary Qataris who might wear a rainbow shirt when the world isn't watching here? What's that like?"

Wahl received a lot of reactions after posting on Twitter of him wearing the shirt before security detained him. "Respect the rules, you can wear this t-shirt as much as you want in your country, but here you have to follow the rules and respect them," one person tweeted. Another person also said following the rules in another country is essential. 

"I spent 26 years in the Navy and have been lucky enough to see much of the world," a Twitter user wrote. "Rule #1 is you follow the customs and traditions of the country your visiting. You don't have to agree but you do have to abide. If you don't like it then don't go. You knew this was a thing." This comes shortly after FIFA announced that beer won't be sold inside World Cup Stadiums this year.