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Brazilian state flag confiscated because Qatar police thought it was pride flag

Metro logo Metro 11/24/2022 Liam Coleman

Two Brazillian football fans had their home state’s flag confiscated by Qatari authorities after they confused it for LGBTQ+ colours.

The shocking incident took place outside of the Lusail Stadium on Tuesday as fans were leaving the ground after Saudi Arabia’s shock win over Argentina.

Video footage shows the moment the women were approached by Brazilian journalist Victor Pereira who asked for a photo with the flag.

The brightly coloured flag was that of the north eastern state Pernambuco, which the journalist recognised outside the ground.

Pereira asked another person to take the picture and paused to look at the photo when a man wearing a traditional white dress approached the group and hassled them over the flag.

The individual took the flag, threw it to the ground, and then stepped over it.

Homosexuality is illegal in Qatar and punishable by prison.

It isn’t the first time LGBTQ+ flags have been removed in Qatar (Picture: @ovictorpereira)

It isn’t the first time LGBTQ+ flags have been removed in Qatar (Picture: @ovictorpereira)
© Provided by Metro

Pereira told Reuters: ‘I took my phone to record a video but he grabbed it from my hand and said he would only give it back if I deleted the video.’

‘Then an officer arrived and tried to intervene. He grabbed the phone from the other guy and ordered me to delete the video.

Pereira said he obeyed to make sure he would get his phone back as he uses it for work. His case made the news after he uploaded a new video on Twitter relaying what happened.

Volunteers working outside the stadium apologized to him.

He said: ‘They said that they had no right to have done that and that, if I wanted, I could report it.’

Pereira added that surveillance cameras in the vicinity captured the incident and that he was planning on filing a report.

The Supreme Committee for Delivery and Legacy, Qatar’s World Cup organizers, did not immediately respond to a request for comment, nor did the Qatari government’s media office.

The women got into a heated debate with security (Picture: @ovictorpereira)

The women got into a heated debate with security (Picture: @ovictorpereira)
© Provided by Metro

Pernambuco’s governor Paulo Camara expressed his solidarity with Pereira on Twitter.

He said: ‘Our solidarity with Pernambuco journalist Victor Pereira. Victor is covering the Qatar Cup and had the Pernambuco flag he was carrying seized by the authorities of that country.’

The state’s flag was first adopted in 1817 when it obtained its independence from Portugal.

At the time, the flag was split with a blue pennant that stood for the sky and a white pennant that represented a country that believed in peace.

Three white stars were placed slightly over the rainbow and the sun right under that symbolized strength and energy.

The rainbow was made up of three arches in red, yellow, and white, symbolizing peace, friendship, and unity.

The current flag was introduced in 1917 and its arches were changed to red, yellow, and white, representing union across the state.

A lone gold star substituted the three that were already there and represented the state in the Brazilian federation as a whole.

The flag has always featured a red cross, which symbolizes the state’s faith in justice and understanding.

It comes after a U.S. journalist said he was briefly detained on Monday when he tried to enter a World Cup stadium in Qatar while wearing a rainbow shirt in support of the LGBTQ community, also claiming his phone was seized.

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