Sports

FIFA tells Wales that fans can wear rainbow hats in stadiums

DOHA, Qatar — (AP) — The Welsh soccer federation said FIFA has offered assurances that fans wearing rainbow symbols will be allowed at Friday's World Cup game against Iran.

The federation had asked FIFA for clarity on reports some Wales fans were stopped from taking rainbow bucket hats and flags into the team’s World Cup opener against the United States on Monday.

"FIFA has confirmed that fans with Rainbow Wall bucket hats and rainbow flags will be allowed entry to the stadium," the Welsh federation posted Thursday to social media.

The Rainbow Wall is Wales' LGBTQ supporters' group.

The federation added that all World Cup venues have been “contacted and instructed to follow the agreed rules & regulations.”

FIFA confirmed that it has been in contact with the Welsh federation and reiterated the long-standing guarantees from the Qatari authorities that LGBTQ symbols would be allowed into the eight World Cup stadiums. However, the governing body has no authority over stadium security, which is controlled by the local organizing committee.

Rainbow imagery, a symbol of LGBTQ rights, is frowned upon in a country where same-sex relations are criminalized.

In April, a senior Qatari security official overseeing tournament preparations suggested fans carrying rainbow flags could have them removed to protect them from possible attacks.

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AP World Cup coverage: https://apnews.com/hub/world-cup and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

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