Ruben Neves urges authorities to show leniency to pitch invader carrying Pride flag | Football
Portugal midfielder Ruben Neves has given his support to the pitch invader who interrupted Monday’s World Cup carrying a Pride flag.
Five minutes into the second-half of the Group H clash between Portugal and Uruguay, the unidentified man sprinted across the pitch holding aloft the rainbow flag.
He also wore a t-shirt which read ‘save Ukraine’ on the front and ‘Respect for Iranian Women’ on the back.
The pitch invader, believed to be Mario Ferri of Italy, dropped the flag onto the pitch before he was tackled by security stuff who dragged him away.
The World Cup has been riddled with controversy over hosts Qatar’s treatment of the LGBTQ+ community and the country’s homosexuality laws.
The tournament has also taken place with anti-government demonstrations taking place in Iran with Russia and Ukraine now in their 277th day of conflict.
Speaking to reporters after the match, Wolves midfielder Neves insisted ‘we are all with them and the message on his shirt’, while urging Qatari authorities to show leniency to the protester.
‘Of course, we are all with them and the message on his shirt as well,’ Neves said at the Lusail Iconic Stadium.
‘We hope nothing happens to the boy because we understand his message and I think all the world understood it as well.
‘We know what has happened around this World Cup. It is a normal thing that can happen.’
Portugal secured their place in the last 16 of the World Cup with a game to spare thanks to their 2-0 win over Uruguay.
Cristiano Ronaldo thought he had given his side the lead with a glancing header nine minutes into the second-half.
However, the goal was awarded to his former Manchester United teammate Bruno Fernandes who provided the cross, with officials ruling Ronaldo had not connected with the ball.
With Ronaldo subbed off, Fernandes stepped home to roll home a penalty in injury time to wrap up the win – denied a hat-trick with his fine effort in the closing stages striking the post.
MORE : Pitch invader carrying Pride flag interrupts Portugal vs Uruguay in World Cup clash
MORE : Bruno Fernandes scores twice as Portugal beat Uruguay to book place in World Cup knock-out stage
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