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“I’m free”: WM-Flitzer spoke up

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Tuesday morning the tournament in Qatar was dominated by the question: How is the man? Mario Ferri later gave the answer himself: “I’m free”.

He does not have to fear legal consequences, he wrote on Instagram. Shortly before it started, the Italian had posted videos, he paid homage to his great “idol” Cristiano Ronaldo. He did not announce what followed. Ferri ran across the lawn, was stopped by stewards and taken to the catacombs. The images were not shown during the TV broadcast, which has been the norm in world football for such incidents for years. The rainbow flag was lifted by referee Alireza Faghani and sent off. In his statement, Ferri referred to the ban on the “One Love” captain’s armband by world governing body FIFA. “They prevented everything except me. (…) We want a free world that respects all people and all ideas,” he wrote.

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FIFA and the World Cup Organizing Committee did not comment – but Ferri did in detail. “Breaking the rules is never a crime if you do it for a good cause,” wrote the Italian, who has already had a number of speedster actions – including at the German World Cup game in South Africa 2010 against Spain. But now it seems to be over: “I’ll call it ‘The Last Dance’, my last run on a field, I wanted to send important messages to me.” At first it was feared that the activist could be taken into custody for a longer period of time.

The rainbow flag is a central symbol for the LGBTQI* community. LGBT is the English abbreviation for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender. Each letter represents one’s gender identity or sexual orientation. Homosexuality is illegal in Qatar and punishable by up to seven years in prison. The lettering “Save Ukraine” clearly alludes to Russia’s war of aggression against Ukraine. By his own admission, Ferri was briefly in Kyiv “as a volunteer” during the war. “Respect for Iranian Woman” deals with the fate of thousands in Iran, where protests against the government and the Islamic system of rule have been going on for weeks. The uprisings are often led by women. Many deaths are reported. Referee Faghani is Iranian.

The World Cup runaboutThe World Cup runabout

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Basically, speedsters in football are first asked to pay, but there are big differences in the case law. After four activists from the political punk group Pussy Riot in police uniforms got onto the lawn during the 2018 World Cup final in Russia, a Moscow court imposed 15 days of arrest. In Qatar, the fact that after the massive criticism in the months and years leading up to the finals, the international media took a very close look at the treatment of the rainbow activist, could have played a role in the further course of action.

“I hope nothing happens to the lad,” said Portuguese midfielder Rúben Neves after the game that secured Portugal a place in the last 16. “We all got his message, the whole world.”

Source: Nachrichten

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