Seven European football teams asked their captains not to wear rainbow armbands at the World Cup after organizers threatened to issue a yellow card to any player wearing the “One Love” bands, designed to show support for the LGBTQ community.
Germany, England, Belgium, Denmark, The Netherlands, Switzerland, and Wales, in a joint statement, said,” 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.”
“FIFA has been very clear that it will impose sporting sanctions if our captains wear the armbands on the field of play,” the teams said on Monday.
Harry Kane, the England captain, was expected to be the first player to take the field in a multicoloured armband emblazoned with the words “One Love” during World Cup matches.
England plays Iran in its first game at the World Cup on Monday.
The “One Love” armband was designed as part of a campaign that started in the Netherlands to promote inclusivity and diversity in football and society. Its symbol is a heart-shaped multi-coloured logo.
The decision by European teams to wear it during the World Cup is widely been viewed as a protest against Qatari laws, criminalizing homosexuality.
“FIFA can confirm its No Discrimination campaign has been brought forward from the planned quarter-finals stage in order that all 32 captains will have the opportunity to wear this armband during the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022,” a FIFA press release stated.