Portugal-Uruguay pitch invader released without charge
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Mario Ferri has been released without charge after his protest
Mario Ferri has been released without charge after his protest

The protester who halted Portugal and Uruguay's Group H match at the World Cup has been released without charge.

Mario Ferri entered the field five minutes into the second half at Lusail Stadium, forcing a temporary stoppage while security caught and ejected him.

The Italian was carrying a rainblow flag and sported a shirt with the Superman logo alongside the messages "Save Ukraine" and "Respect for Iranian Women".

Ferri confirmed on Tuesday that he had been released, and explained the reasoning behind his protest.

"FIFA banned rainbow captain bands and human rights flags in the stands," he wrote on Instagram. "They blocked everyone but not me. We want a free world that respects all races and all ideas.

"[This is] a message for Iran... where women are not respected. The world must change. We can do it together with strong gestures that come from the heart with courage.

"Save Ukraine. I spent a month at the war in Kyiv as a volunteer and saw how much people are suffering.

"Thank you for all the messages of love that I receive from the world. Breaking the rules if done for a good cause is never a crime."

Ferri is a frequent pitch invader, having previously interrupted matches at South Africa 2010 and Brazil 2014.

Portugal went on to win Monday's encounter, sealing their spot in the last 16.

Tags

UruguayPortugalWorld Cup
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