England fans wearing £3,000 crusader costumes claim they were forced to strip naked
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England fans wearing £3,000 crusader costumes claim they were forced to strip naked for causing 'offence'.
The three lions supporters claim they were refused entry for the opening World Cup game against Iran.
"Are you here to kill Muslims," the two ex-pats were allegedly asked.
Their helmets, rubber swords and outfits were confiscated and the pair were apparently left in their t-shirts and shorts.
Attempting to make the second half, the two fans were allegedly asked to take their clothes off before entry.
One of the men involved - who prefers to not be named - is a 57-year-old engineer.
He explained: "They were hand made in India.
"They cost £3,000 each. We thought it would be a laugh to dress up for the game in keeping with the tradition we’ve seen at virtually every previous World Cup.
"But the staff at the security checkpoints first denied us entry because of our helmets then said the shields and rubber swords were a problem, then the tunics were offensive.
"We ended up going back and forth five or six times to various checkpoints all the time complying with their requests.
"This went on for two-and-a-half hours and led to us missing the first half so we decided to ditch all the gear as we’d paid more than £180 for our tickets."
What followed next was an alleged strip search.
His friend, a 56-year-old body builder claims to have worked on the stadiums built in the Qatar World Cup.
"We came in fancy dress like many England fans have in the past but these people did not see the funny side at all. They were very nasty. At one point one of them tugged at my chainmail and asked me: 'Have you come here to kill Muslims?'
"I told him: 'I've come here to have fun and watch the football mate. What are you talking about?' We were cross about missing the first half by the time we tried to enter wearing ordinary clothes but were both shocked when they ordered a strip search. Three security staff in a very small room stood around us pointing and sneering. It was awful."
The builder added: "If I complained to the police I'd lose my job and get deported immediately - that's the reality of life here. Everything has been scrubbed clean and whitewashed for the World Cup but everyone here lives in a climate of fear."
A FIFA spokesman said: "Crusader costumes in the Arab context can be offensive against Muslims. That is why Anti-Discrimination colleagues asked fans to wear things inside out or change dress."
LADbible have contacted FIFA for additional comment.