FIFA World Cup: Captains to not wear ‘OneLove’ armband in Qatar

The armband represents support for equality and while it is not solely aimed at the rights of the LGBTQ community it is significant in Qatar where homosexuality is illegal.

England captain Harry Kane, along with the captains of the Netherlands, Belgium, Denmark, France, Germany, Norway, Sweden, Switzerland and Wales, were reportedly set wear the One Love armband.

England captain Harry Kane, along with the captains of the Netherlands, Belgium, Denmark, France, Germany, Norway, Sweden, Switzerland and Wales, were reportedly set wear the One Love armband. | Photo Credit: Getty Images/ALEX PANTLING

The armband represents support for equality and while it is not solely aimed at the rights of the LGBTQ community it is significant in Qatar where homosexuality is illegal.

Football Associations of seven nations have released a joint statement on Monday, advising their players against wearing the ‘OneLove’ armband.

The armband represents support for equality and while it is not solely aimed at the rights of the LGBTQ community, it is significant in Qatar where homosexuality is illegal.

“We are very frustrated by the FIFA decision which we believe is unprecedented - we wrote to FIFA in September informing them of our wish to wear OneLove armband to actively support inclusion in football and had no response” said the joint statement of seven nations which includes England, the Netherlands, Wales, Belgium, Denmark, Germany and Switzerland.

Kane, along with the captains of the Netherlands, Belgium, Denmark, France, Germany, Norway, Sweden, Switzerland and Wales, were reportedly set to wear the One Love armband during this edition of FIFA World Cup which commenced on November 20.

“You don’t want the captain to start the match with a yellow card. That is why it is with a heavy heart that we as a UEFA working group... and as a team had to decide to abandon our plan,” the Dutch FA said in a statement. 

As per FIFA guidelines, ‘no item [of playing kit or other clothing or equipment or otherwise] may be worn or used in any controlled area if FIFA considers that it is dangerous, offensive or indecent, includes political, religious, or personal slogans, statements, or images, or otherwise does not comply in full with the laws of the game’.

For FIFA Final Competitions, the captain of each Team must wear the captain’s armband provided by FIFA.

In terms of punishments, where applicable, the Match Commissioner will report to FIFA any instance of apparent non-compliance with these Regulations. The Match Commissioner may confiscate the item(s) in question and provide them to FIFA along with a written report. Whether or not a report is received from the Match Commissioner, FIFA may investigate any instances of potential non-compliance with these Regulations, with a view to potentially bringing proceedings under the FIFA Disciplinary Code.

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