American fan says he was kicked out of US-Iran game for wearing rainbow armband

An American fan was asked to leave Al Thumama Stadium in Qatar for wearing a rainbow armband ahead of the United States’ 1-0 win over Iran on Tuesday.

American Brian Davis told Danish journalist Rasmus Tantholdt that security at the front gates told Davis his armband was good to wear. It was later when guards confronted him at his place.

Davis said the guards “twisted my arm” and were “very aggressive.”

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He was then escorted out of the stadium but later returned to his seat.

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Davis said in a text message to Yahoo Sports on Wednesday, “I’m 100% fine. … I was back well before the national anthems with no problems.”

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The incident is the youngest of its kind at the World Cup. Two American journalists said they had been asked by authorities at the venues to remove rainbow-patterned clothing. Los Angeles Times reporter Kevin Baxter said he was told a rainbow-colored face mask was not allowed at the USMNT’s training facility.

Ahead of USMNT’s 1-1 draw with Wales, journalist Grant Wahl said he was briefly detained by security forces over a rainbow jersey he was wearing. Wahl said he was held for about half an hour and a security guard “forced my phone out of my hands.” He was finally allowed into the stadium.

LGBTQ rights took center stage at the World Cup in Qatar, a country with a poor human rights record where homosexuality is criminalized. FIFA and other organizers have promised to welcome LGTBQ fans and players, but problems have cropped up throughout the tournament. Seven European teams halted plans to wear anti-discrimination rainbow captain’s armbands after FIFA threatened them with “sporting sanctions”. FIFA also reportedly demanded that Belgium remove the word ‘love’ from the collar of their shirts.

A protester interrupted a game between Portugal and Uruguay on Monday night by running onto the field carrying a rainbow flag and a shirt supporting Iranian protesters and Ukraine.

Yahoo Sports’ Henry Bushnell contributed to this story.

American fan Brian Davis said security confronted him and was “very aggressive” when escorting him out of the stadium in Qatar on Tuesday for his rainbow armband. (Getty Images)

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