England and Wales will defy FIFA and wear their own ‘OneLove’ armband at the World Cup that kicks off in Qatar tomorrow. The recent development comes after the sport’s governing body had launched their own version on the eve of the much-awaited tournament.
FIFA has also earlier requested the captains of all the participating nations to wear armbands with different slogans for each round of the competition. The slogan “FootballUnitesTheWorld” was planned for the group stages, other messages include “SaveThePlanet”, “ProtectChildren” and “ShareTheMeal” were set to be in display in the knockout stages.
England and Wales To Wear Rainbow Armbands
Expect Harry Kane and Gareth Bale however, to display armbands that will feature a rainbow slogan as several European nations including Germany, Belgium, Netherlands, Denmark and Switzerland who will wear the same.
This comes as a gesture of support in LGBTQ+ rights and discrimination against migrant workers that have dominate the headlines in the backdrop of the tournament.
The rainbow-colored armband is part of an anti-discriminatory initiative with same-sex relationships outlawed and homosexuality is punishable by death in the host country.
The Football Association (FA), Chief Executive Mark Bullingham had previously mentioned that England are prepared to run the risk of being fined by FIFA.
FA To Defy FIFA
An FA source said, “We respect FIFA request but we are committed to wearing our OneLove armbands in this World Cup”.
On Saturday’s press conference in Doha, FIFA President, Gianni Infantino said, “We have clear regulations on armbands. We have and engage in campaigns on different topics, campaigns which are universal. We need to find topics that everyone can adhere to. This is an important element for us.”
This was met with criticism from Lou Englefield of the LGBTIQ Human Right Sports Coalition who suggested that Infantino was wrong in not acknowledging LGBTQ+ rights as not an universal topic. Englefield said, “Infantino is wrong. It’s a global issue, right for every organization.”
Earlier the US Soccer Federation adopted a pride crest in the national team’s training facilities in Qatar. A rainbow colored badge and pattern have also appeared in the media room, however the federation have planning not to use the crest during the World Cup matches.
Photo credit: IMAGO / ActionPictures
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