Supporters have been barred from dressing as crusaders at England’s World Cup clash with the USA in Qatar.
Fans dressed in chainmail while carrying plastic swords and shields with the St George cross have been told they will not be allowed to enter Al Bayt Stadium in Al Khor, north of Doha, according to The Times.
The newspaper quoted Fifa as saying: “Crusader costumers in the Arab context can be offensive against Muslims.”
Anti-discrimination group Kick It Out also advised fans against wearing fancy-dress costumes representing knights or crusaders, which recall the religious wars Christians waged against Muslims during the Middle Ages.
A spokeswoman for the group said: “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.
A video shared on Twitter showed two fans clad in crusader costumes seemingly being turned away from entry to a Qatari stadium by security staff.
Following a 6-2 victory against Iran on Monday, the Three Lions will face Team USA tonight at 7pm UK time.