Brazilian State Flag Featuring Rainbow at Center of Confrontation Outside World Cup Stadium

A Brazilian journalist at the World Cup has reported that the state flag of Pernambuco, which features a prominent rainbow, was mistaken for an LGBTQ symbol outside the Lusail Stadium in Doha on November 22.

Victor Pereira tweeted that his cellphone was taken from him and only returned after a video he had taken related to the incident was deleted. The incident followed Saudi Arabia’s shock win over Argentina at the stadium.

Additional footage tweeted by Pereira shows a Qatari police officer holding the flag as a woman tries to show him something on a phone.

This footage, which was shared with Pereira’s colleague Kelvin Maciel, shows Pereira in a heated conversation with a man wearing a thobe, Qatar’s traditional male dress, who is holding a phone behind his back, away from the reporter.

Pereira can be heard saying “I will show you” and “I’m media” during the footage, while a woman can be heard saying “it’s our state flag”.

Speaking to Reuters Pereira said, “This guy wearing a white dress grabbed the flag, threw it on the ground and started stomping on it. I took my phone to record a video but he grabbed it from my hand and said he would only give it back if I deleted the video.”

He added it was after this point that the officer arrived and also asked him to delete the video. Credit: Kelvin Maciel / Victor Pereira via Storyful

Video transcript

VICTOR PEREIRA: Who are you? I'm media. I'm a journalist. I will show you. You took my cellphone. I'm media.