England, Germany, Belgium, the Netherlands, Denmark, Wales and Switzerland released a joint statement on Monday confirming they will not be wearing the OneLove headband at the World Cup in Qatar due to “sports sanctions” threatened by world football’s governing body. .
FIFA has made it clear that any players wearing the proposed OneLove armband promoting diversity and inclusiveness will be warned, and a joint statement from the seven football federations speaks of their collective “disappointment” with the stance.
“We are very disappointed with FIFA’s decision, which we consider unprecedented,” the statement said. “FIFA has made it clear that it will impose sporting sanctions if our captains wear armbands on the playing field. We were willing to pay the fines that normally apply for equipment violations and were determined to wear armbands. We cannot put our players in a situation where they can be warned or even forced to leave the field.”
England, Wales, Belgium, Germany, Denmark, the Netherlands and Switzerland are issuing a joint statement confirming they will not be wearing the OneLove headband as FIFA has “made it clear it will impose sporting sanctions”. pic.twitter.com/nOLxADhkL1
— Ben Jacobs (@JacobsBen) November 21, 2022
England captain Harry Kane and Wales skipper Gareth Bale were among those planning to wear the armband at the World Cup, and the relevant governing bodies said they had written to FIFA informing them about the OneLove armband back in September, with no response.and in all subsequent matches.
The OneLove campaign began in the Netherlands ahead of Euro 2020 as an anti-discrimination message – Qatar criminalizes same-sex relationships and even their advertising, whileahead of the start of the World Cup.
Now FIFA has put forward its own “No Discrimination” campaign, which was only to take effect after the quarter-finals, and all captains will now be allowed to wear one of these armbands throughout the tournament.
The Football Fans’ Association criticized FIFA’s decision and declared itself the “committed” governing body of the world game: “Today we feel contempt for an organization that has shown its true values by giving a yellow card to the players and a red card of tolerance. .
“Never again should a World Cup be run solely on the basis of money and infrastructure,” they added. “No country that does not comply with LGBT+ rights, women’s rights, workers’ rights or any other universal human rights should be honored to host the World Cup. It is surprising that on the morning of the opening day of the World Cup in England, FIFA censors players and nine national football associations who want to send a positive message.”
England, the Netherlands and Wales go into action on Monday: The Three Lions will take on Iran at the start of the match, then the Dutch will play Senegal and the Welsh will then take on the USMNT.