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Fan with gay flag at Qatar 2022 could stay in prison

It had been warned that the 2022 World Cup had many limitations in terms of freedom of expression. Who will experience it firsthand is the fan who invaded the field in the Portugal-Uruguay match this Monday, displaying a flag of the gay community and a T-shirt with messages in favor of women. Qatar could jail him for half a year for this act. In the second half of the game that ended with a Portuguese victory, a man jumped onto the field to protest for the human rights of women in Iran - where social repression has led them to organize massive demonstrations -, in addition to displaying the message "Save Ukraine" on his T-shirt. When cornered, he threw the LGBTI flag on the lawn and seconds later he was captured by security elements, who took him to the relevant authorities, who could give him a prison sentence for violating the Qatari laws of "good customs" and public demonstrations.Qatar's penal code establishes that this kind of "demonstrations that incite sodomy" are punishable with sentences of up to six months in prison and a fine of 3 thousand rials, equivalent to 15 thousand Mexican pesos at the current exchange rate. The referred penalty applies to: "Whoever expresses signs or utters obscene songs or sayings, or commits an obscene act on any road, in a public place, or in a place where he may be observed", recalling that homosexuality is punishable in Qatar. Since before the World Cup, the Qatari government clearly established its behavioral guidelines for foreign fans, penalizing any display of affection on public roads, sexual relations with someone other than a spouse and even the prohibition of drinking alcoholic beverages in any area, with the exception of the FIFA Fan Fest.

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