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World Cup protester runs onto field with rainbow flag and shirt reading "Respect for Iranian Woman"

U.S. Soccer posts image altering Iranian flag
U.S. Soccer posts image altering Iranian flag ahead of crucial World Cup match 04:47

A protestor briefly interrupted a match between Portugal and Uruguay when he ran across the field with a rainbow flag at the World Cup.

The man carried a rainbow flag while wearing a blue T-shirt with a Superman emblem that read "SAVE UKRAINE" on the front and "RESPECT FOR IRANIAN WOMAN" on the back.

The protester was chased down by security during the second half of the match and ushered away shortly after making it onto the field. Authorities have not announced if the person will face charges or if police officials have detained him.

The display followed a slew of other actions taken to protest host nation Qatar, which has been plagued by criticism over its human rights record and the working conditions of the migrant labor force that helped build the stadiums.

During the first week of the tournament, the captains of seven European countries were ready to take a stand against LGBTQ+ discrimination by wearing armbands emblazoned with rainbow hearts in support of the "One Love" campaign. But FIFA announced anyone who wore the band would get a yellow card, forcing teams to back down to avoid losing players, who are ejected if they receive two yellow cards in one game and must also miss the team's next game if they receive two yellow cards over the course of any two games up until the quarterfinals.

Following the ban, Germany's players decided to cover their mouths during a team photo before their opening match to protest against FIFA's crackdown on the "One Love" band.

"We may have our bands taken away from us, but we'll never let our voices be taken from us," German captain Manuel Neuer said at the time.

Political pressure has also been directed toward Iran, which has seen months of protests following the September death of Mahsa Amini, who had been taken into custody by the country's morality police for allegedly wearing her hijab too loosely. 

Ahead of the final group stage match between the two countries, the United States Soccer Federation tweeted an image of Iran's flag without its central emblem. The tweet has since been deleted, but the federation said it was meant as a sign of support for the ongoing protests in Iran.

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