Qatari official confronts reporter wearing ‘One Love’ armband – video

World Cup: Danish journalist told to remove 'One Love' armband

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A Qatari security officer has demanded a sports journalist remove his anti-discrimination armband, footage has shown, in the latest incident to mire the World Cup. Dutch reporter Jon Pagh, from TV 2 Sport, was wearing the “One Love” armband while he was preparing to speak to the camera in front of the Danish player’s hotel when he was approached by a Qatari official. The pair then engaged in a tense exchange as the reporter refused to remove the armband and the official grew increasingly frustrated before manhandling the camera filming the ordeal. The incident came just hours after England captain Harry Kane was forced to replace his own “One Love” armband with a FIFA-approved black one to avoid being given a yellow card during their opening match against Iran. 

After the Qatari official instructed Mr Pagh to remove the armband, the sports reporter said: “I respect that you are telling me that, but I can’t take it off. Why is it not allowed? Is it because of the colours?”

The officer then muttered “Yes” in response before attempting to obscure the camera lens with his hand. 

Mr Pagh continued: “But this just says ‘One Love’. It is just respecting everybody.” 

Mr Pagh and his colleagues from the TV 2 station are then reported to have left the site in Qatar. The reporter captioned the video of the ordeal, which he released on Twitter: “30km out in a dark desert in Qatar.”

The Dutch reporter is not the first journalist to stage a protest in response to the FIFA ruling against the use of “One Love” armbands. 

Alex Scott, the former England international, defied the order by wearing the armband during her BBC broadcast on Monday in Qatar. 

While Harry Kane and Gareth Bale decided against breaking the newly-employed rule, instead opting for a black armband issued by FIFA, which had the words “No Discrimination” written across it, Ms Scott refused to heed the warnings. 

Ex-Wales football captain Laura McAllister, a former FIFA council candidate, also had her rainbow bucket hat confiscated by Qatari police as she entered a stadium for the men’s fixture against the USA. 

READ NEXT: Harry Kane wears ‘no discrimination’ armband during Iran match [REPORT] 

The incident with Mr Pagh occurred less than a week after one of his colleagues, Rasmus Tantholdt, was ordered to stop his broadcast by Qatari security staff. 

Mr Tantholdt was reporting on the World Cup when he was approached. He reportedly later said that security had threatened to break his camera.

TV 2 Denmark said it had obtained the appropriate accreditations to film and was reporting from a public place. Qatar’s Supreme Committee subsequently apologised.

Qatar designates Islam as the state religion, using an interpretation of Sharia law that criminalises sexual activity between two people of the same sex, under which it is possible that the death penalty can be imposed.

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When asked about the confiscation of pro-LGBTQ+ attire by Qatari officials, Foreign Sec James Cleverly, said this morning: “The conversations I’ve had with the Qatari authorities, I’ve just returned from Qatar, we raised the issues of being a welcoming host nation and the Qataris are very keen to do so, and I also had the opportunity to visit our consular teams and our international policing teams.

“So, my duty is to make sure that the English and Welsh fans that are in Qatar to enjoy the football are able to do so, enjoy themselves, be themselves, and be safe and secure whilst they’re doing it.”

Last week, he told travelling fans to “respect the law” when attending the World Cup. 

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