Arjan Singh, a 28-year old civil servant and his friend Martin, aged 27, were not allowed to spectate the Italy vs Spain Euro 2020 Semi-final match due to the size of Arjan’s article of faith, Kirpan. A kirpan is one of the important 5 Ks of the Sikh religion, compulsory to be worn around by baptised sikhs at all times.
Arjan and his friend Martin travelled from Rugby to Wembley to see the match. They had booked the tickets for £300 each. And they were not allowed to view the match.
A spokesperson from the FA said that Arjan was denied entry because his article of faith, the Kirpan, exceeded the size-limit as specified in the guidelines online. However, Arjan said that the security guards had measured the length of his Kirpan to be 6 inches, which was within the size-limit as specified online, but he was still denied entry and was treated like ‘a criminal’.
The two friends had to wait for 2 hours speaking with the security guards, after which they were still not allowed to enter and had to return back home from Wembley. The carrier of the ceremonial dagger said, “When I got to Wembley, on the website its Kirpan policy [says to] let the security guards know prior. Before we got checked I said to [the security guard] ‘I’m carrying this ceremonial dagger which I’m allowed to by the law of the land…’
The guidelines for wearing Kirpan into the stadium are as follows :
The security guards then asked him to look up into the camera and took photos of his Kirpan, after which he was told that he wasn’t allowed to wear it inside. The security guards were shouting ‘You are not coming in with this sharp blade’ a number of times, which was heard by people around and Arjan was treated like a criminal.
Arjan also said that he and his friend were not allowed to be seated for all the duration even though he had told them that he had a severe back pain. For all the inconvenience caused, Arjan was given tickets for the England vs Denmark match the next day.
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