Ruben Neves has pleaded with Qatari authorities to take care of the pitch invader that disrupted Portugal’s 2-0 win over Uruguay at the World Cup.
Midway through the second half at Lusail Stadium, a man entered the pitch carrying a rainbow pride flag and sporting a Superman shirt reading ‘Free Ukraine’ on the front and ‘Respect Iranian Women’ on the back.
Qatar’s appalling human rights record has been called into question ever since they were awarded the rights to host this World Cup, while FIFA president Gianni Infantino has repeatedly stressed that he did not want the tournament to be political, eventually leading to the OneLove armband debacle.
Speaking post-match, Neves is wary of the harsh punishments the pitch invader could face, but agreed with his messages and urged authorities to be lenient.
“Of course, we are all with them and the message on his shirt for Iran as well,” Neves said. “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.”
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Portugal sealed their qualification to the knockout stages of the World Cup with Monday’s win.
A brace from Bruno Fernandes – one cross which just evaded Cristiano Ronaldo by a hair and a late controversial penalty – ensured the Selecao became the third side to advance after France and Brazil.