GAY global news

Fan told to take down rainbow flag at World Cup match in Russia

Written by gaytourism

Joe White and a drag queen at a Russian gay bar (Photo: Twitter)

An England fan was instructed to take down a rainbow flag during a match at the World Cup in Russia.

Joe White, 25, was holding a Three Lions Pride St George’s flag bearing rainbow colours when a steward removed it. He said that the steward told him ‘those colors are not allowed.’

The incident occurred during the England versus Panama game, shortly before England’s record-breaking 6-1 win.

White was attending with the group Three Lions Pride. He claimed that their scarves were also inspected prior to entering the stadium.

White said: ‘One of the supervisors has gone and taken [the flag] down and taken it away. ‘They said “oh you’re not allowed those colors in here”, meaning the rainbow flag so that’s obviously an issue. It was a touch and go situation but it got put back up in time for the game.

FIFA stepped in to overrule decision

‘I think for me I started getting really annoyed and angry because we had these reassurances. We’ve come over not just to support England, which is obviously a huge part of why we’re here, we’re here because we are England fans but also to show solidarity with LGBT Russians.

‘It was frustrating more than anything else. It did start to tarnish it a little bit.’

White’s group reported the incident to FIFA and the Football Supporters’ Federation. They intervened and overruled the decision.

The flag was put back up and was caught on camera after one of England’s goal scores.

White was also subjected to abuse during an interview with the Press Association in Moscow, when a passerby shouted ‘faggot’.

In spite of these events, White maintained that his World Cup experience has been positive. He said that there has been more positive than negative reception to his group’s attempts to raise awareness.

Also on Gay Star News:

Budweiser under fire for sponsoring Russia’s World Cup and Pride events

Got a news tip? Want to share your story? Email us .