In a football match in September 2022, England’s player Harry Kane wore the OneLove armband.
Now, during the 2022 World Cup, the captains of seven European nations had vowed to wear this same armband carrying the heart-shaped rainbow logo of the “One Love” LGBTQ+ campaign, which promotes inclusion and diversity in soccer and society.
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However, FIFA has threatened to fine and give yellow cards to any player who wears the rainbow armbands.
As a result, England, Wales and five other European nations have confirmed their players will no longer wear the LGBTQ+ armband during the Qatar World Cup.
They fear their captains could be forced to even leave the pitch if they do so.
This comes only two days after FIFA’s president Gianni Infantino’s speech about inclusivity, where he said:
“Today I feel Qatari. Today I feel Arab. Today I feel African. Today I feel gay. Today I feel disabled. Today I feel (like) a vagrant. Today I feel (like) a migrant worker,”
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Peter Tatchell, director of a human rights organisation, said:
“The OneLove armband was the tiniest of gestures. It did not even specifically mention LGBTQ+ people. It was a weak campaign but even that was too much for Fifa, who have bullied the England team to not wear it.”
Pride in Football, a network of LGBT people in the UK, stated on Twitter:
“A token gesture from the start that has turned into another embarrassment from Fifa. Fifa have had since September to sort this, and yet they wait until now to threaten sanction. Fifa is denying players their fundamental and most basic human right to freedom of speech.“