WC pitch protester released without charges

The protester who invaded the pitch during Portugal‘s World Cup win over Uruguay while carrying a pride flag has been released without being charged.

Mario Ferri briefly stopped the game at Lusail Stadium on Monday by running on the pitch wearing a T-shirt carrying the messages: “Save Ukraine” and “Respect for Iranian women.”

He was led away by security staff, but after what is being described as a “brief detention,” the Italian activist was released without charge.

Writing on Instagram on Tuesday, Ferri said he wanted to send “some important messages.”

He posted: “A message for Iran…..where women are not respected. The world must change, we can do it together with strong gestures that come from the heart with courage.

“FIFA banned rainbow captain bands and human rights flags in the stands, they blocked everyone but not me.

“Save Ukraine. I spent a month at the war in Kiev as a volunteer and saw how much people are suffering. Thank you for all the messages of love that I receive from the world. Breaking the rules if done for a good cause is never a crime.”

“Following the pitch invasion that took place during last night’s Portugal v Uruguay match, we can confirm that the individual involved was released shortly after being removed from the pitch,” a Supreme Committee spokesperson told ESPN.

“His embassy has been informed. As a consequence of his actions, and as is standard practice, his Hayya Card has been cancelled and he has been banned from attending future matches at this tournament.”



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