SUN mascot Harry Mane became Harry Mane-bow yesterday as he celebrated FIFA bowing to pressure over rainbow bucket hats by donning one of his own with pride.

Welsh fans had rainbow hats and flags confiscated by hard line cops before their first game against America.

Sun mascot Harry Mane wears a rainbow bucket hat in World Cup host country Qatar


Sun mascot Harry Mane wears a rainbow bucket hat in World Cup host country QatarCredit: Dan Charity

The crackdown made a mockery of FIFA’s message that “everybody will be welcome” at the World Cup.

But they caved in when The Football Association of Wales (FAW) demanded clarification over what fans could wear.

Red Dragons fans echoed Harry’s jubilation over the climb down before the match but were left heartbroken at the final whistle after two late Iran goals left them on the brink of elimination.

Rob Page’s men now need a miracle against England in their final group game to stand any chance of qualifying for the knockout stage in their first World Cup in 64 years.

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Professor Laura McAllister, 55, refused to let the 2-0 defeat dampen her sprits after she was allowed to wear her rainbow bucket hat to the game.

She made headlines all over the world when footage of her being told to take it off at the first match against the USA went viral.

Laura, professor of policy at Cardiff University, said: “The security stewards told me to put it in the bin or take it to the restricted items area.

“I asked why and all they said was ‘regulation’. I challenged them but they wouldn’t budge so it was clearly an orchestrated stance.

“I went outside and when I was out of sight of the guards I put it in my back pocket and went back in to the ground.

“FIFA can’t have it both ways. They can’t say that their tournament is for everyone and push the diversity message and then refuse to let fan wear rainbow hats with others feeling so unwelcome they haven’t travelled here.

“This is not a Qatar World Cup, it’s a World Cup in Qatar.

“The irony though is that rather than keeping things under wraps, they have achieved the exact opposite. Everyone is now talking about it.

“Wearing my hat was a small act of defiance but an important one because there are still many countries where homosexuality is illegal.”

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Civil servant Jon Bettinson, 52, of Cardiff, wore a rainbow necklace to the match to show his support for the LGBT community.

He said: “It was important for us take make a stand however small it might be. Every gesture helps.”

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