FIFA Bans England Fans From Wearing Medieval Crusader Costumes

England fans have been warned against going medieval in “offensive” crusader costumes during Friday’s much-anticipated game against the USA.

FIFA strongly warned against appearing in the traditional imitation outfits of mail, shields and swords.

An official from football’s governing body told the Times of London that it “aims to create an environment free of discrimination, promoting diversity throughout the organization and in all its activities and events”.

The official explained that “Crusader costumes in the Arab context can be offensive to Muslims. That’s why anti-discrimination colleagues asked the fans to wear their clothes inside out or to change their clothes.”

An England fan in a Crusader costume
England fans have been banned from wearing Crusader costumes at the World Cup.
DeFodi images via Getty Images

Many Arabs are offended by the Crusades, when Christians attempted to conquer Jerusalem and nearby areas under Islamic rule in the 11th-13th centuries.

FIFA is cracking down on the costumes after pictures emerged of England fans wearing them in the team’s opening game against Iran, which they destroyed 6-2.

An England fan in medieval Crusader costume
“Crusader costumes in the Arab context can offend Muslims,” ​​said a FIFA official.
Twitter/Robert Carter

Culture and human rights took center stage at the World Cup in Qatar, where some Welsh fans were ordered to take off their LGBT rainbow hats as their team played a 1-1 game against the USA.

Same-sex relationships are illegal in Qatar.

Simon John, Lecturer in Medieval History at Swansea University in South Wales, explained the importance of the Crusades in the Muslim world.

“Once you know anything about the history of the Crusades, you know it would provoke such a reaction in the Islamic world,” he told NBC News.

“We are talking about a period of history that is still very well remembered and talked about in quite some detail in the Muslim world – the same is not true in the West,” added John.

It’s unclear whether the fans in the red-and-white costumes are imitating St George, England’s patron saint, or Crusaders, the news outlet said.

“Qatarian laws and customs are very different from those in the UK. Be aware of your actions to ensure they are not offensive,” the UK Foreign Office advised UK fans.

The group stage game between England and USA starts at 2pm ET.

With post wires FIFA Bans England Fans From Wearing Medieval Crusader Costumes


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