‘Respect For Iranian Women’ protester invades pitch at World Cup match

A protester holding a rainbow flag and with a shirt saying “Respect For Iranian Women” on the back ran on to the pitch during Monday’s game between Portugal and Uruguay at the World Cup in Qatar.

Security staff quickly intervened and moved away the protester, who also had “Save Ukraine” on the front of his shirt.

The tournament has been surrounded by controversy over hosts Qatar’s treatment of the LGBT community as well as anti-government demonstrations in Iran. The head of the organising committee, Hassan al-Thawadi, described the rainbow flag as divisive in an interview on Monday.

Portugal’s Rúben Neves said: “We know what has happened around this World Cup. It’s a normal thing to happen. Of course, we are all with them as well. Iran as well, because I saw his shirt. I hope nothing happens to the boy because we understand his message and I think all the world understood it as well.”

Portugal went on to win the match 2-0 thanks to a Bruno Fernandes double to secure their place in the knockout stages.