Stewards requested the removal of an Iraq flag displayed in tribute to a new Ipswich Town player because it was 'supporting an opposition player,' Swansea City have revealed.

A Swans fan had put up the red, white and black-striped emblem in the home end at the stadium prior to Saturday's match with Ipswich in tribute to Town striker Ali Al-Hamadi, who plays for Iraq.

The former AFC Wimbledon player, who joined the Tractor Boys at the end of January, was a youth scholar at Swansea before signing a one year professional contract with the Welsh club in July 2020.

READ MORE: Ipswich Town: Ali Al-Hamadi on scoring his first goal in Millwall win

A spokesperson for Swansea City said staff had allowed the fan to ask Al-Hamadi to sign the flag, which the striker did, before asking the supporter to put the flag away because it could be deemed to be supporting an opposing player.

However, following the game, which the Tractor Boys won 2-1, Al-Hamadi posted on social media site Twitter/X asking why the Swansea club officials wanted the flag taken down and expressing concerns the motivation was political.

He said: "Love spotting fans carrying Iraq flags home and away. Gives me great pride.



"Can I please get some sort of explanation as to why stewards and security are confiscating them, or telling fans to take them down? Happens week in, week out? Am I missing something?"

In a subsequent post, the forward, who came off the bench on Saturday, said: "So stewards seem to think it’s a Palestine flag? Or that it’s something political?

READ MORE: Ipswich Town: Ali Al-Hamadi signs from AFC Wimbledon

"Let’s just label anything that seems foreign or has Arabic writing on it as ‘political’. The ignorance and lack of education is poor."

The spokesperson said: "Yesterday before the game, a home supporter in the home end, just behind the dugout, requested to display an Iraqi flag in following Al-Hamadi.

"The supporter was advised that this is not authorised because Al-Hamadi is an away player.

"The fan then requested to have the flag signed by Al-Hamadi, which the player complied with and then the fan was asked to put the flag away by a steward."

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He added there was no political motivation behind the request and an Iraqi flag was displayed among Ipswich fans in the away end.

Current English Football League (EFL) guidelines ban the display of flags or banners of a size that is prohibited by the club hosting the match, along with flags and banners of 'an offensive nature'.

The Swansea spokesperson said spectators had to seek permission from clubs before displaying flags, but currently the only flags that were banned on political grounds were Israel and Palestine flags due to sensitivities around the ongoing conflict in the Middle East.

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