FIFA warns World Cup captains over gay rights armband – media
Footballers including England captain Harry Kane could be given a yellow card before they even start matches at the World Cup in Qatar, should they choose to defy FIFA and wear unauthorized ‘One Love’ armbands, according to reports.
Several European nations including England, Wales, the Netherlands and Germany announced before the tournament that their captains planned to wear the item at the World Cup, which signals support for LGBTQ rights and opposition to “all forms of discrimination.”
FIFA announced on the eve of the tournament that it had its own plans for team captains to wear armbands bearing different messages during different stages of the competition, including slogans such as “football unites the world,” “save the planet” and “bring the moves.”
That left England and others facing potential sanctions such as a fine if they went ahead with their plans, while according to Sky Sports, the threat of a yellow card for captains such as Kane was raised at a meeting in Doha on Sunday.
Discussions are said to be continuing over a potential compromise, although Kane said on Sunday that he was still determined to wear the ‘One Love’ armband.
“I know the FA are talking to FIFA at the moment, and I’m sure by game-time tomorrow they will have their decision. But I think we’ve made it clear that we want to wear it,” said the Tottenham Hotspur star, who was Golden Boot winner at the 2018 World Cup in Russia.
Time appears short for a resolution of the issue, with England kicking off their World Cup campaign against Iran at the Khalifa International Stadium in Doha on Monday.
The Netherlands are in action later the same day against Senegal, and Dutch captain Virgil van Dijk suggested he still wanted to wear the armband, even if he was uncomfortable with the prospect of starting the match with a yellow card.
“Nothing changed from our point of view. If I will get a yellow card for wearing it, then we would have to discuss it because I don’t like to play while being on a yellow,” said the Liverpool defender.
The World Cup began on Sunday as hosts Qatar were beaten 2-0 by Ecuador at the Al Bayt Stadium in Al Khor.
The build-up to the tournament has seen much of the Western media focus on Qatar’s human rights record, including its treatment of migrant workers and the LGBTQ community.
Homosexuality remains illegal in Qatar, although local World Cup officials and FIFA have insisted that all fans will be welcome at the tournament.