Several England fans have been spotted in knight costumes during the early stages of the World Cup in Qatar, with the strict laws and customs in the country having raised questions over whether supporters should be mindful of upsetting locals by dressing as crusaders at Three Lions matches.
Iman Atta, director of Tell Mama, a UK project monitoring Islamophobic hate, has also urged those following England at the World Cup to avoid dressing insensitively in spite of the fact that such costumes are not worn with the intention of antagonising Qatari locals.
“Our fans should be mindful that there are things that may cause offence to Qatari citizens, such as openly drinking or wearing historical Crusader Knights Templar outfits that have very negative implications in the region,” Atta told The Telegraph.
“We also know that this is not done to purposefully irritate Qataris but out of a desire to support England.
“However, we firmly believe in the principle that any World Cup should have an environment where fans can be open, enjoy what they want to wear and feel safe and secure.
“This principle is one that we believe in, though in Qatar, people should just be mindful and aware of deep sensitivities.”
Meanwhile, Football Supporters’ Association chief Ashley Brown has insisted that those fans who have been turned away for dressing as crusaders would not have been intentionally trying to offend Muslims in Qatar but should be mindful of what such costumes may imply.
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