- Shamser Khalid
England Fans Dressed as Crusaders Get Turned Away from the World Cup Game
A recent Twitter video is going viral as it shows England fans dressed in full crusader garb being denied entry to a Qatar stadium. It’s been reported that England supporters are not allowed to wear crusader costumes when they attend the Three Lions’ next World Cup game against the USA in Qatar on Friday.
The costume, which usually consists of chainmail, fake swords, and shields with the St. George cross on it, is a fairly common sight around England matches. While the idea of the costume is to represent St George, England’s patron saint, it has wider connotations. The depiction of knights and crusaders could be deemed offensive in the Middle East since The Crusades were a series of religious wars waged by Christians against Muslims during the Medieval period.
One fan dressed in a crusader costume shared his complaints about the situation to TalkTV. “The problem is in places like Qatar, the fans are the essence of the game,“ he said. “We are what makes the game. It's not the corporates, they help financially in the background, it's us the fans that make the football and we are the football.”
In an interview with Ashley Brown, the head of supporter engagement at the Football Supporters Association urged England supporters to be considerate of their hosts. The advice was echoed by a spokesperson for anti-racism charity Kick It Out who stated, “We would advise fans who are attending FIFA World Cup matches that certain attire, such as fancy-dress costumes representing knights or crusaders, may not be welcomed in Qatar and other Islamic countries.”
So far it seems like England fans have decided to forego the advice as social media posts show footage of fans covered head to toe in crusader outfits singing God Save the King on the Doha metro system.