Australian fan refused entry to ticketing center due to pride flag

OHA: An Australian fan was kicked out of the main World Cup ticketing center following a bag inspection when he was told he would be refused entry due to a Pride flag .

The fan, who asked to remain anonymous for security reasons, told Wide World of Sports that he tried to enter the ticketing building of the Doha Exhibition and Convention Center but was been turned away.

He said he was initially determined to bring a rainbow version of the Australian flag to Qatar, but the experience deterred him from trying to take it elsewhere.

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“They told me I couldn’t get in after looking in my bag – I didn’t try it in a game or anything after that experience,” he said.

“I really regret coming – but I came for the football.”

FIFA has been contacted for comment.

Sports and politics collide

Federal Sports Minister Anika Wells was in Doha to visit the Aspire Academy, where Australia is based, amid other official duties – but also stopped to speak with reporters.

Whenever there’s a story regarding anti-racism, anti-homophobia, or any other socially progressive cause, a relatively predictable response from detractors is that “sports and politics don’t mix.” this.

Anika Wells reacts in the stands after Australia’s goal against France. (FIFA)

“In my experience as a suburban mother and now sports minister, compared to a politician, sport is just as political as politics,” she said.

“People who try to keep politics out of sport are those who currently have power, who seek to keep that power against others then trying to take their place and have a voice – that’s why I’m so strong on the rights of athletes.”

The minister said she supports gamers having more power to speak out and use their platform for their beliefs.

“To speak more broadly of where we are as a country right now, we are modernizing to become an athlete-led environment.”

Asian upheavals continue

While Japan’s loss to Germany was a nice feel-good moment for fans who love an underdog, you couldn’t help but feel a pang of jealousy from an Australian perspective.

Two heavy underdogs from the Asian Confederation pulled off stunning upsets in the space of a day, but in between was Australia’s heavy loss to France.

One only has to look back on the qualifying campaign to see the differences – Australia struggled after a hot start and finished well behind the Samurai Blue and Green Falcons, who easily finished in the top two and automatically went qualified for the World Cup.

Teething problems persist despite smooth exterior

Ben Blumberg is in his second World Cup in support of the Socceroos – and is in the fan village in what he concedes is a “shipping container”, but says it’s been pretty positive so far here.

“The prospect of a World Cup in Qatar was not attractive, but when they qualify you have to do it,” he told Wide World of Sports.

“It’s good for what it is. In Russia everyone was in different hotels, but this way you can meet so many people from other countries – I’m staying with an Iranian and I’ve been invited for tea this morning with Iranians, spoke to Japanese and Pakistani fans this morning.”

Socceroos fan Ben Blumberg is in his second World Cup. (Matt Bungard)

Of course, there are negatives – he notes a lack of fans of traditional European powers making the trip, as well as a few things throughout the day.

“This country also doesn’t have a lot of experience in organizing events, that’s what I’ve seen so far,” he said.

Blumberg was one of many fans left behind in the early days of the tournament due to issues with the World Cup ticketing app.

“I had a ticket transferred to me during the day and I refreshed the app all day but it wasn’t coming I ended up queuing at 6.30pm for a kick off at 7pm at the ticket assistance desk which was two guys trying to help about a hundred people – luckily it worked out in the end but others weren’t so lucky.”

The Canadiens make the most of their first game in 36 years

In their first World Cup match since 1986, a massive contingent of Canadian fans crammed into the Ahmad Bin Ali Stadium, roughly the same area of ​​the pitch as the Welsh supporters two nights ago.

The Saudis have certainly been the loudest group so far, but Canada fans are firmly engaged in the second-place conversation, bringing plenty of energy to their loss to Belgium – when they were handed a penalty precocious, the place was absolutely leaping, and even when Alphonso Davies failed to convert, they held him to the end.

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