England soccer fans at the World Cup in Qatar have been banned from wearing Christian crusader costumes.
FIFA has warned that such clothing could be considered “offensive against Muslims.”
It ruled that attire such as fancy-dress costumes representing knights or crusaders may not be welcomed in Qatar and other Islamic countries.
Two fans wearing chainmail armour and the traditional English red cross were confronted by security ahead of England’s opener against Iran.
They were forced to hand over their foam swords and shields.
FIFA’s announcement was supported by groups such as Kick It Out whose mission is to “put an end to all forms of discrimination within sports.”
Former England star John Barnes also defended the ban.
However the detained fans insisted they were merely dressed as knights from the comedy Monty Python And The Holy Grail.
Both are expats who have worked with Muslims for years in the Middle East.
They described the ban as “woke madness.”
It comes after FIFA agreed to allow rainbow flags and hats inside the stadiums.
The Christian Post reports the tradition of wearing crusader outfits is inspired by the legend of St. George, the patron saint of England.
One version of his exploits tells how he slayed a dragon inhabiting a town’s lake and killing its residents.
He only agreed to do so if the townspeople converted to Christianity.
They did so and the King built a church where the dragon was slain.