Moment Qatar authorities confiscate Brazilian fans’ flag after believing its rainbow colors showed support for LGBTQ community – stranger threw state flag of Pernambuco on the ground and stepped on it outside World Cup stadium

  • A man outside Lusail Stadium in Qatar took the flag of the Brazilian state of Pernambuco from two fans and threw it to the ground before stepping on it
  • The incident took place Tuesday following Saudi Arabia’s World Cup 2-1 win over Argentina at Lusail Stadium
  • Two Brazilian women were posing for a photo with a journalist from back home when the man approached them and snatched the flag
  • The man confused the flag for an LGBTQ pride flag and then took the reporter’s phone and threatened to break it if video footage of the incident was not erased

Two Brazilian women had their home state’s flag thrown to the ground and stepped on after a man misinterpreted it for an LGBTQ pride flag outside Lusail Stadium in Qatar on Tuesday.

The shocking incident took place as World Cup fans were leaving the stadium following Saudi Arabia’s miraculous 2-1 win over Argentina.

The women were carrying the colorful flag of the northeastern state Pernambuco and were approached by Brazilian journalist Victor Pereira so that they could pose for a photo together, according to the G1 news outlet.

Pereira passed his cell phone to another person to take the picture and paused to look at the photo when a man wearing a traditional white dress approached the women and hassled them over the flag, which features a rainbow, a red cross, and a star.

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

Homosexuality is illegal in Qatar and punishable by prison. 

A Qatar police officer (right) holds the flag of the Brazilian northeastern state of Pernambuco moments after a man (left) snatched the flag, tossed it to the ground and stepped on it outside Lusail Stadium on Tuesday because he though it symbolized the LGBTQ community

Brazilian reporter Victor Pereira, who is in Qatar covering the World Cup, revealed he was about to take a photo with two women from Brazil who were carrying a flag of the northeastern state of Pernambuco when a man wearing a traditional white dress took their flag and threw it to the ground before he stepped all over it on Tuesday in front of Lusail Stadium

‘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,’ Pereira told Reuters.

‘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.

‘They said that they had no right to have done that and that, if I wanted, I could report it …,’ Pereira said while adding 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.

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

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

The original Pernambuco state flag was introduced in 1817 after the state gained 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 a 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 red cross symbolizes the state’s faith in justice and understanding

A man (left) stands to the side after he stepped on a flag of the Brazilian northeastern state of Pernambuco while the two women he took the flag from speak to a police officer 

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.

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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