World Cup 2022: European teams scrap plan to wear OneLove armbands

WCup Armband Dispute Soccer
FILE – England’s Harry Kane wears a rainbow armband as he takes the knee prior to the Euro 2020 soccer championship round of 16 match between England and Germany at Wembley Stadium in England. The captains of seven European nations will not wear anti-discrimination armbands in World Cup games after threats from FIFA to show yellow cards to the players. The seven soccer federations say “we can’t put our players in a position where they could face sporting sanctions.” (Justin Tallis, Pool Photo via AP) Justin Tallis/AP

World Cup 2022: European teams scrap plan to wear OneLove armbands

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The captains of seven European nations have chosen not to wear OneLove anti-discrimination armbands in World Cup games after FIFA threatened the players with yellow cards.

“FIFA has been very clear that it will impose sporting sanctions if our captains wear the armbands on the field of play,” reads a joint statement per SkyNews issued by the Football Associations of England, Wales, Belgium, Denmark, Germany, the Netherlands, and Switzerland.

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The statement went on to say they were prepared to pay fines that would normally apply to uniform violations but could not put players in a situation where they might be “booked or even forced to leave the field of play.”

The statement also expressed frustration saying, “we wrote to FIFA in September informing them of our wish to wear the OneLove armband to actively support inclusion in football, and had no response.”

The captains planned to wear the OneLove armbands during the 2022 World Cup in support of the LGBTQ community, whose rights are restricted in Qatar.

The decision to scrap the armbands came hours before England’s Harry Kane, the Netherlands’ Virgil van Dijk, and Wales’ Gareth Bale were set to wear them in Monday’s games.

“Our number one priority at the World Cup is to win the games,” the Dutch soccer federation said in a separate statement according to the Associated Press. “Then you don’t want the captain to start the match with a yellow card.”

Featuring a multi-colored heart-shaped logo, the OneLove campaign started in the Netherlands and is aimed at promoting inclusion and diversity in soccer and society.

FIFA offered a compromise Monday, saying the captains of 32 national teams “will have the opportunity” to wear an armband with the slogan “No Discrimination” in the group games, according to the Associated Press.

© 2022 Washington Examiner

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