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Brazil reporter told to lose flag of his home town after it gets mistaken for LGBTQ

Dominic Smithers

Published 
| Last updated 

Brazil reporter told to lose flag of his home town after it gets mistaken for LGBTQ

Lots has been made of the controversial circumstances surrounding the World Cup in Qatar.

Questions have been raised by many over how the country won the bid over a decade ago and how teams can justify playing there, considering its human rights record.

Homosexuality is illegal in the country and those found guilty could be sentenced to up to seven years in prison.

Ahead of the tournament, England and several other European nations, including Belgium and Wales, were set to wear their 'OneLove' armbands, which were designed to be a subtle nod to the LGBTQ+ community.

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Teams were banned from wearing the 'One Love' armbands. Credit: PA Images/Alamy
Teams were banned from wearing the 'One Love' armbands. Credit: PA Images/Alamy

However, this week, FIFA announced that it was banning the teams from making the statement, with Belgium ordered to remove the word 'Love' from their kit's collar.

And now, a journalist says he was ordered to get rid of his 'rainbow' flag after being confronted outside one of the stadiums at the tournament.

In a video posted to Twitter, Victor Pereira can be seen speaking to a group of men in white dress.

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The Brazilian claimed that, believing it was a show of support for the LGBTQ+ community, they grabbed his flag off him and threw it to the ground, stamping in it.

But they were confused, as it was actually the flag of his home state Pernambuco, which includes a rainbow.

Victor had his state flag taken from him. Credit: @ovictorpereira
Victor had his state flag taken from him. Credit: @ovictorpereira

Explaining what happened, Victor said: "We were approached because of the flag of Pernambuco, which has a rainbow and they thought it was the LGBT flag.

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"They took my cell phone and only gave it back to me when I deleted the video I had.

"They even picked up the flag of Pernambuco, threw it on the ground and stepped on it.

"When some people intervened and softened the situation."

He also posted a video someone else had managed to capture of the scary incident.

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This comes after FIFA president Gianni Infantino gave a bizarre press conference ahead of the World Cup, in which he compared human rights abuses to him being bullied for having ginger hair.

He said: "Today I feel Qatari. Today I feel Arab. Today I feel African. Today I feel gay. Today I feel disabled. Today I feel a migrant worker.

"I know what it feels to be discriminated... I was bullied because I had red hair.

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"I have been speaking about this topic with the highest leadership of the country. I can confirm that everyone is welcome. If you hear a person that says the opposite, it is not the opinion of the country or of FIFA."

He also accused European nations of hypocrisy over moralising about Qatar and claimed that 'nobody cares' about the 'one billion disabled people in the world'.

Good to see he hasn't lost complete perspective, isn't it?

Featured Image Credit: Twitter/@ovictorpereira

Topics: World Cup, Sport, Football, Viral, Twitter

Dominic Smithers
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