Soccer World Cup: end game for the Italian activist with the rainbow flag
FIFA withdrew its access card to the 2022 World Cup stadiums on Tuesday the Italian who had briefly interrupted a match the day before crossing the lawn with a rainbow flag.
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On Instagram, Mario Ferri defended his act, assuring that « breaking the rules for a good cause is never a crime ».
But the organizers were not of the same opinion.
« As a consequence of his act, and it is a regular practice, his Hayya card has been canceled and he has been banned from attending future matches in this tournament, » FIFA said in a statement.
The Hayya card, issued by the Qatari authorities, serves as an entry permit to the emirate, a public transport card and an entry ticket to the stadiums.
Mario Ferri, 35 and nicknamed “The Falcon”, interrupted the Portugal-Uruguay match on Monday by running onto the pitch with a T-shirt stamped on the front with the Superman logo with an inscription in support of Ukraine, “ Save Ukraine” (“Save Ukraine”), and on the back a message in favor of Iranian women (“Respect for Iranian Woman”).
He also carried a flag in the colors of the rainbow flocked with the inscription « PACE », « Peace » in Italian.
Tackled to the ground by a steward, he was escorted out of the enclosure and placed in detention. He was quickly released « without further consequence », the Italian Foreign Ministry said on Tuesday.
It was the first time that a match had been marked by such intrusion since the start of the competition organized in Qatar, in the face of Western criticism over the treatment of LGBT + people. Homosexuality is liable to criminal prosecution.
« Modern Hacker »
Eight European teams had announced before the tournament that their captain would wear a « OneLove » rainbow armband, but the idea was abandoned after threats of sanctions from Fifa.
The supreme body of world football has assured that flags or clothes in the colors of the rainbow will be accepted in the stadiums but in fact, these have been confiscated on several occasions by the security forces.
« Fifa banned rainbow captain’s armbands and human rights flags from the stands, they blocked everyone, BUT NOT ME, like a Robin Hood, » Mario Ferri wrote on his Instagram account, believing that « breaking the rules for a good cause is never a crime. »
“SAVE UKRAINE. I spent a month in the war in kyiv as a volunteer and saw how much these people are suffering,” he also wrote.
Mario Ferri said he wanted to send “important messages”, especially for Iran “where I have friends who are suffering, where women are not respected. »
The activist is a footballer playing in lower division clubs and defines himself as « a modern pirate ».
According to Gazzetta dello Sport, he has played in India, Switzerland, San Marino, Seychelles and Jordan.
The Italian is a regular in militant actions: during the 2014 World Cup in Brazil, he entered the field during Belgium-United States with a T-shirt bearing the inscriptions « Save the children of the favelas » and « Ciro Vive » , in tribute to a supporter of Naples killed shortly before, according to the Italian agency AGI.