European teams drop ‘One Love’ armbands in favor of LGBTQ rights under FIFA pressure

Profile photo of Harry Kane© AFP

England, Germany and five other European teams at the World Cup on Monday abandoned plans to wear rainbow-themed armbands in favor of LGBTQ rights, citing the risk of disciplinary action by FIFA. “FIFA has made it very clear that they will impose sporting sanctions if our captain wears the armband on the field of play,” they said in a joint statement. According to FIFA regulations, players who wear costumes not authorized by the world football governing body can be shown a yellow card.

If that player then receives a second yellow card, they will be sent off.

The “OneLove” armband, as warned by the likes of England captain Harry Kane and his German counterpart, Manuel Neuer, was designed as part of a campaign to promote inclusion.

The armbands have been seen by many as an act of protest against the law in host country Qatar, where homosexuality is illegal.

“As a national federation, we cannot put our players in a position where they could face sporting sanctions including penalty cards, so we have asked the teams to The captain does not try to wear the captain’s armband during FIFA World Cup matches,” the federations of England, Wales, Belgium, Denmark, Germany, the Netherlands and Switzerland said.

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