BERLIN, December 19. /TASS/. Qatari law enforcement bodies foiled a planned stunt by members of the Pussy Riot punk band during the final match of the 2022 FIFA World Cup on December 18, Germany’s Spiegel reported on Monday.
According to the news web site, three members of the band had been taken into custody because they allegedly had intended to run onto the field of Lusail Stadium in Qatar as a sign of a protest against Moscow’s special military operation in Ukraine and supposed violations of women’s rights in Iran.
Spiegel reported that among those in custody are Veronika Nikulshina and Pyotr Verzilov, who pulled the same stunt over four years ago during the final match of the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia.
On July 15, 2018, Nikushina and Verzilov as well as Olga Pakhtusova, and Olga Kuracheva, donning police uniforms, ran out onto the Luzhniki Stadium pitch in Moscow, where France was taking on Croatia in the final game of the then Russia-hosted 2018 FIFA World Cup.
On July 16, 2018, the Khamovniki district court of Moscow ruled to put all four of them into 15-day administrative custody and banned them from attending official sports events for three years. In their defense, Pussy Riot members claimed that poet Dmitry Prigov’s ‘heavenly’ police officer inspired them to pull off this stunt. On July 25, 2018, the court fined each defendant in the case a rather symbolic sum of 1,500 rubles ($24 at that time) and had their uniforms confiscated.
2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar
The final match of the 2022 FIFA World Cup was held on Sunday night at Lusail Stadium and was attended by 88,800 spectators watching France and Argentina clash for the much-coveted World Cup trophy.
The regulatory time of the game finished with 2-2 draw pushing the teams for two 15-minute stretches in extra time, in which they each scored another goal and with 3-3 draw proceeded to the penalty shootout. In the penalty kicks series, Argentina defeated France to snatch the FIFA World Cup trophy, the third in their team’s history.
France appeared in the World Cup final for the second time in a row - in 2018, Didier Deschamps' team defeated Croatia 4-2 in the decisive match in Moscow at Luzhniki Stadium. France confidently started the championship’s group stage with a 4-1 win over Australia, followed by a 2-1 victory over Denmark, but then lost 1-0 to Tunisia. In the playoff round the French football squad was unstoppable, beating Poland 3-1, England 2-1 and Morocco 2-0.
Both France and Argentina vied to become three-time winners of the FIFA World Cup on Sunday night in Qatar as the Argentinians previously won the global world football championship in 1978 and 1986, while the French team hoisted the World Cup trophy in 1998 and 2018.
Qatar hosted the 2022 FIFA World Cup between November 20 and December 18 at eight stadiums in five cities across the Persian Gulf country, namely in Doha, Lusail, Al Wakrah, Al Khor and Al Rayyan.
The eight host stadiums were: Al Bayt Stadium, Khalifa International Stadium, Al Thumama Stadium, Ahmad bin Ali Stadium, Lusail Iconic Stadium, Stadium 974, Education City Stadium, and Al Janoub Stadium.
The previous FIFA World Cup was hosted by Russia in 2018. The championship took place at 12 stadiums in 11 cities across Russia, namely in Moscow, St. Petersburg, Sochi, Kazan, Saransk, Kaliningrad, Volgograd, Rostov-on-Don, Nizhny Novgorod, Yekaterinburg and Samara.
On July 15, 2018, during an official ceremony in the Kremlin, Russian President Vladimir Putin passed the baton for the FIFA World Cup’s host country to Emir of Qatar Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani in the presence of FIFA President Gianni Infantino.