European Nations Stand Down From One Love Campaign At World Cup
Several countries including England, Germany, the Netherlands and Belgium have stood down from their show of solidarity in the One Love campaign, which they signed before the start the FIFA World Cup.
In a joint statement, nations said they wouldn’t wear the One Love armbands due to the risk of players being issued yellow cards, where a suspension is issued after receiving two.
“FIFA has been very clear that it will impose sporting sanctions if our captains wear the armbands on the field of play,” the statement said.
“As national federations, we can’t put our players in a position where they could face sporting sanctions including bookings, so we have asked the captains not to attempt to wear the armbands in FIFA World Cup games.
“We were prepared to pay fines that would normally apply to breaches of kit regulations and had a strong commitment to wearing the armband. However, we cannot put our players in the situation where they might be booked or even forced to leave the field of play.
“We are very frustrated by the FIFA decision which we believe is unprecedented – we wrote to FIFA in September informing them of our wish to wear the One Love armband to actively support inclusion in football and had no response.
“Our players and coaches are disappointed – they are strong supporters of inclusion and will show support in other ways,” it said.
Instead, England captain, Harry Kane wore FIFA’s ‘no discrimination’ armband for their first match against Iran.
Commenting on armbands, FIFA issued a statement that said: “For Fifa final competitions, the captain of each team must wear the captain’s armband provided by Fifa.”
“Fifa is an inclusive organisation that wants to put football to the benefit of society by supporting good and legitimate causes, but it has to be done within the framework of the competition regulations which are known to everyone,” it said.
In response to FIFA, The Football Supporters’ Association (FSA), said: “To paraphrase FIFA president Gianni Infantino – today LGBT+ football supporters and their allies will feel angry. Today we feel betrayed”
“Today we feel contempt for an organisation that has shown its true values by giving the yellow card to players and the red card to tolerance.
“Never again should a World Cup be handed out solely on the basis of money and infrastructure. No country which falls short on LGBT+ rights, women’s rights, workers’ rights or any other universal human right should be given the honour of hosting a World Cup,” the FSA said.
The decision is another late one, which follows the banning of alcohol sales in and around the perimeter of stadiums.