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England’s Harry Kane and several other European captains told not to wear ‘OneLove’ armband at World Cup

by Apkyolo, Monday, 21 November 2022 (1 week ago)
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(CNN) – Several European team captains won’t wear “One Love” armbands at the World Cup in Qatar because they might get a yellow card.

The “OneLove” campaign was going to include England, the Netherlands, Belgium, Denmark, Germany, Switzerland, and Wales. The goal of the campaign was to promote inclusion and fight against discrimination.

But the associations for these countries said in a statement on Monday that the armband, which has a striped heart in different colors to represent all cultures, backgrounds, genders, and sexual identities, would not be worn in Qatar.

“FIFA, the world governing body of football, has made it clear that there will be sports sanctions if our captains wear the armbands on the field,” the joint statement said.

DOHA, QATAR – NOVEMBER 14: A view of the Corniche Waterfront at sunrise on November 14, 2022, in Doha, Qatar, before the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022. (Getty Images picture by Ryan Pierse)
Qatar plays its first World Cup game in a tournament with a lot of controversial firsts.
“As national federations, we can’t put our players in a position where they could get penalized, so we’ve asked the captains not to try to wear the armbands in FIFA World Cup games.”

“We were ready to pay fines that would normally be given for breaking rules about uniforms, and we were very determined to wear the armband. But we can’t put our players in a position where they could get a ticket or even be forced to leave the field,” the statement said.

The decision to not show the armband in Qatar was made just hours before England’s first game, which is against Iran. Later on Monday, Wales will play the US, and the Netherlands will play Senegal.

The countries said they were “frustrated” by what they called FIFA’s “unprecedented” decision to punish the captains if they wore the armband.

“We wrote to FIFA in September to tell them that we wanted to wear the One Love armband to support inclusion in football, but they didn’t answer. Our players and coaches are upset. They are strong supporters of inclusion and will show their support in other ways,” the statement said.

France has been in the campaign all season, but their captain, Hugo Lloris, told reporters last week that he would “respect” the culture of the host country during the tournament.

The Dutch Football Association said on Monday that it was “deeply disappointed” that captain Virgil van Dijk would get a yellow card if he wore the armband on the field.

“All are welcome.”
In the lead-up to the World Cup, Qatar has been criticized for its view on LGBTQ rights. In Qatar, being gay is against the law and can get you up to three years in prison.

Human Rights Watch released a report last month that said Qatari security forces had arrested LGBT people without a reason as recently as September and treated them badly while they were in jail.

But the country has said that “everyone is welcome” at the tournament and said in a statement to CNN this month, “Our track record has shown that we have warmly welcomed all people from all backgrounds.”

In a statement sent to CNN last week, the Supreme Committee for Delivery & Legacy (SC), which has been in charge of the World Cup’s infrastructure projects and planning since its creation in 2011, said it was committed to “an inclusive and discrimination-free” World Cup. The statement said that the country had hosted hundreds of international and regional sporting events since the World Cup was awarded to it in 2010.

Soccer Football: FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022, Group A, Qatar vs. Ecuador, Al Bayt Stadium, Al Khor, Qatar, November 20, 2022
Enner Valencia of Ecuador is happy after scoring their second goal. REUTERS/Kai Pfaffenbach
Ecuador puts a damper on Qatar’s party as the tense World Cup starts.
At about the same time that countries said their captains wouldn’t wear the armband in Qatar, FIFA announced its “No Discrimination” campaign and said that all 32 captains would be able to wear an armband that was part of the campaign.

In a press conference on Saturday, FIFA president Gianni Infantino said, “I have talked to Qatar’s highest leaders about this issue.”

“They told me that everyone is welcome, and I can confirm that. If someone says the opposite, they are not speaking for the country and they are not speaking for FIFA.”

But FIFA’s decision to punish players who wore “OneLove” armbands has still caused anger. The Football Supporters’ Association, which represents football fans in England and Wales, said it “feels betrayed.”

In a statement, the FSA said, “We have been raising questions about Qatar’s ability to host the World Cup since 2010.”

“Everyone saw this coming, and it’s shocking that FIFA is censoring players who want to spread a positive message on the morning of England’s World Cup opener.”

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