England captain ready to defy FIFA over LGBTQ armband – media
England captain Harry Kane will wear a One Love armband at the World Cup next month even if global football governing body FIFA bans the item, according to reports.
The Tottenham Hotspur striker will wear the armband alongside the captains of nine other European countries – the Netherlands, Belgium, Denmark, France, Germany, Norway, Sweden, Switzerland, and Wales – who are supporting a season-long initiative against discrimination.
Three weeks ago, the national football associations of the countries made a request to FIFA for permission to wear the armband in matches at the World Cup as part of the UEFA Working Group on Qatar.
FIFA still hasn’t given its blessing to the items being used in Qatar, but the English Football Association will ignore a FIFA ban if imposed and pay any related fines for breaching the order, according to UK media.
The other European countries will also follow England’s approach and wear the armbands as part of the campaign that calls for inclusion and fights against discrimination.
The ‘One Love’ pledge was established in the Netherlands and is a European push for improved human rights in Qatar, where migrants have reportedly been mistreated while building stadiums for the World Cup.
As the armband’s logo is a rainbow-colored heart, it has been accepted as a symbol of support for the LGBTQ community as well.
Due to homosexuality being illegal in Qatar, however, FIFA could ban the item in an attempt not to upset local sensitivities.
Kane wore the armband for the first time in England’s UEFA Nations League matches against Italy and Germany last month and said he was “honored to join my fellow national team captains in supporting the important One Love campaign.”
Sky Sports reports that a delegation from the UEFA Working Group on Qatar will meet FIFA in Zurich on Wednesday to ask for an update on their request to use the armband.
The delegation also wants to discuss setting up a compensation fund for migrant workers and their families and establishing a welfare center for migrant workers in the Qatari capital Doha.
The English FA is part of the working group, but it will not join the delegation that will travel to Switzerland this week.
Kane and England get their Qatar 2022 campaign underway against Iran in Group B on November 21.