Rainbow captain armbands will likely be seen at the upcoming 2023 Women’s World Cup in Australia and New Zealand.

This comes after the debacle at the men’s World Cup in Qatar late last year. Several European teams organized to wear special armbands at the men’s tournament to highlight an anti-discrimination campaign.

However, FIFA put the kibosh on the move at the last minute.

Nevertheless, Australian Football chief executive James Johnson has confirmed that positive discussions with FIFA are being held on the issue. “We’ve had very good dialogue with FIFA and it’s meaningful,” Johnson said in an interview with the Observer.

“They are not paying lip service to this. We’re in the middle of that process and we’re pretty confident and optimistic that we’ll end up in a good place: a place where players have the ability to express themselves in certain areas, which keeps the players happy, it keeps the host nation happy and also FIFA happy as well.

So I do think there’ll be a resolution ahead of the Women’s World Cup.”

Armbands could specific to each team

Johnson also revealed that these discussions with FIFA include team captains wearing specific armbands to highlight certain causes.

“So if we’re talking about Australian players, it’s obviously LGBTQ+ and Indigenous rights, First Nation rights, but that doesn’t necessarily reflect the players all around the world,” the exec continued. “But I think the players will be able to wear armbands around certain issues that they wish to express themselves on.”

“We’re talking to our players about what issues they might want to express themselves on during the Women’s World Cup.

Australia and New Zealand are countries where inclusion is really part of our DNA. And we want to ensure that, in a competition held in our countries, that value is reflective of what the tournament stands for.”

It remains to be seen if ‘OneLove’ will appear on armbands

The news outlet asked the Australian soccer chief if he expects the rainbow armbands to be worn at the tournament. “I think there will be, yes,” replied Johnson. He, however, could not confirm if the OneLove slogan will be included in the armbands in Australia/New Zealand.

Photo credit: IMAGO / PA Images

Guide to World Cup 2023

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