The World Cup in Qatar has banned English soccer fans from dressing up as medieval crusaders after people began doing it to troll.
Two England supporters who wore the costumes also say that they were strip-searched before being allowed inside.
“Two England supporters dressed as St George say they were strip-searched before being allowed entry to the World Cup game against Iran,” the Times of London reported on Friday. “The men, whose outfits were inspired by Monty Python, claimed that police officers asked if they were ‘here to kill Muslims’ before deliberately humiliating them.”
An England fan in Qatar speaks to TalkTV about the treatment of fans at the World Cup.
— TalkTV (@TalkTV) November 20, 2022
An FIFA official told the newspaper that it “strives to create a discrimination-free environment, to promote diversity across the organization and in all of its activities and events.”
The official added that, “crusader costumes in the Arab context can be offensive against Muslims. That is why anti-discrimination colleagues asked fans to wear things inside out or change dress.”
Qatari authorities have started banning England fans from wearing crusader costumes in stadiums.
— Robert Carter (@Bob_cart124) November 23, 2022
“While not favorites to win the tournament, England beat Iran 6-2 on Monday. The U.S., meanwhile, tied 1-1 with Wales, which until this year had not qualified for the tournament in decades,” NBC News reports. “Iran beat Wales 2-0 earlier on Friday, increasing the pressure on the U.S. to pick up the points they need to qualify from Group B.”