World Cup protester Mario Ferri released without charge

The protester who interrupted Portugal’s 2-0 World Cup win over Uruguay has been released without charge, according to the BBC.

Mario Ferri, an Italian activist, ran onto the Lusail Stadium pitch on Saturday wearing a t-shirt with « Save Ukraine » printed on the front and « Respect for Iranian women » emblazoned on the back. Ferri, who was also carrying a rainbow flag, was briefly chased by security before being escorted off the pitch. He dropped the rainbow flag in the process, and it was picked up by a referee.

Authorities briefly detained Ferri before his release, according to the report. Qatar’s Supreme Committee said Ferri’s Hayya card – which allowed him to enter the country for the World Cup – had been canceled and he was barred from any further matches at that tournament.

« A message for Iran where I have friends who suffer, where women are not respected… THE WORLD MUST CHANGE, we can do it together with STRONG gestures, which come from the heart, WITH COURAGE », Ferri wrote in a since-deleted post. on Instagram. « FIFA banned captain’s armbands with the rainbow and human rights flags in the stands, they blocked everyone BUT NOT ME, like a Robinhood 2.0 I brought the PEOPLE’S message We want a free world that respects all races and all ideas.

Mario Ferri protested against the Portugal-Uruguay match.
AFP via Getty Images

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Ferri has a history of using protests for social activism, including a protest during the 2014 World Cup to raise awareness for children living in poverty.

FIFA has faced widespread criticism for hosting the World Cup in Qatar, a country with a poor record on LGBTQ+ rights. Ahead of the tournament, FIFA announced that any captain attempting to wear an armband promoting ‘OneLove’, an anti-discrimination initiative, would be shown a yellow card.


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