Cameraman refused entry to England World Cup game for wearing rainbow watch strap

Rainbow watch

A BBC cameraman has been refused entry to England’s game at the World Cup in Qatar for wearing a rainbow watch strap. 

On Friday (25 November) a cameraman was refused entry to the Al Bayt Stadium, where England took on the USA and were held in a 0-0 draw.

His entry was refused because he wore a rainbow watch strap his son gifted him. 

It follows FIFA informing LGBTQ+ fans and allies they will no longer be stopped by security for wearing rainbow colours. 

BBC sports correspondent Natalie Pirks took to Twitter to share how her colleague was banned from entering the stadium. 

She wrote: “Just arrived at the Al Bayt stadium for England’s game and my cameraman, wearing the rainbow coloured watch strap his son got him, was stopped by security and refused entry. 

“Clearly the message from FIFA is STILL not getting through. Infuriating.”

“Imagine being so insecure as a society that you’re offended by a watch strap,” one person commented under the post.


FIFA previously confirmed to the Football Association of Wales that fans wearing rainbow colours would be allowed entry to Qatar’s World Cup stadiums. The Independent also shared that FIFA had confirmed the rainbow flag will “not be prohibited”. 

Since the start of the World Cup on 20 November, numerous rainbow-themed items have been banned in Qatar stadiums, with a journalist revealing he was asked to change his rainbow t-shirt before entering the USA-Wales match on Monday (21 November). 

It follows England and Wales confirming they won’t wear the pro-LGBTQ+ OneLove armband at the Qatar World Cup after FIFA threatened that captains could face an instant yellow card. 

The German national football team made a stand against FIFA’s threat in a team photo by covering their mouths ahead of their match against Japan.

In Qatar homosexuality is illegal, and being found guilty of same-sex relations can result in a lengthy prison sentence, while under Sharia law it is possible for men to face the death penalty if they are found to have engaged in same-sex intimacy.