Fifa bans fans from dressing as crusaders at England versus USA match

Fans are prohibited from dressing as Crusaders during the World Cup clash between England and the United States in Qatar.

Fans dressed in chain mail while carrying plastic swords and shields with the Cross of St. George have been told they will not be allowed into Al Bayt Stadium in Al Khor, north of Doha, according to the Times

The newspaper quoted Fifa as saying, “Cross costumers in the Arab context can be offensive to Muslims.”

Anti-discrimination group Kick It Out has also advised fans against wearing costumes depicting knights or crusaders, which hark back to the religious wars Christians fought against Muslims in the Middle Ages.

A spokeswoman for the group said: “We advise fans attending FIFA World Cup matches that certain attire, such as costumes depicting knights or crusaders, may not be welcome in Qatar and in other Islamic countries.

“Foreign Office travel advice issued ahead of the tournament advised that fans should familiarize themselves with local customs, and we encourage fans to take this approach.”

A video shared on Twitter showed two fans dressed in crusader suits apparently refused by security personnel at the entrance to a Qatari stadium.

All eyes will be on England's Harry Kane (right) on Friday night (Martin Rickett/PA)
All eyes will be on England’s Harry Kane (right) on Friday night (Martin Rickett/PA)

It comes after Fifa gave the go-ahead for hats and rainbow flags inside the stadium as England and Wales prepare for their second games of the tournament.

The Football Association of Wales (FAW) says the governing body has confirmed fans will be allowed in with the items for the Iran clash after confiscating them ahead of the 1-1 draw of Wales against the United States.

The FAW has urged Fifa to stick to its message that “everyone is welcome” in Qatar during the tournament after the first week was marred by its handling of LGBTQ+ symbols.

Temperatures could reach 29C when Wales take on Iran at 1pm local time, 10am UK time at the 40,000-seat Ahmad Bin Ali Stadium in Doha.

England will be looking to build on their 6-2 win over Iran when they travel to Al Bayt Stadium.

A victory will seal the Three Lions’ place in the knockout stages.

Temperatures could be around 25C when the game kicks off at 10pm local time, 7pm UK.

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