England’s Harry Kane and several other European captains told not to wear ‘OneLove’ armband at World Cup



CNN

The captains of several European teams will not wear ‘OneLove’ armbands at the World Cup in Qatar due to the threat of yellow cards.

England, the Netherlands, Belgium, Denmark, Germany, Switzerland and Wales were expected to take part in the OneLove campaign to promote inclusion and oppose discrimination.

But the associations of those countries said in a statement on Monday that the bracelet with a striped heart in different colors representing all heritages, origins, genders and sexual identities would not be worn in Qatar.

“FIFA has made it very clear that it will impose sporting sanctions if our captains wear armbands on the field of play,” the joint statement said.

“As national federations, we cannot put our players in a position where they could face sporting sanctions, including bookings, so we have asked captains not to attempt to wear the armbands at FIFA World Cup matches.”

“We were prepared to pay the fines that would normally be imposed for breaking kit rules and we were very committed to wearing the wristbands. However, we cannot put our players in a situation where they may be booked or even forced to leave the field of play,” the statement read.

The decision not to display the armbands in Qatar comes hours before England’s opener against Iran, while Wales face the USA and the Netherlands face Senegal later on Monday.

Countries said they were “disappointed” by FIFA’s “unprecedented” decision to punish captains for wearing armbands.

“We wrote to FIFA in September informing them of our desire to wear the One Love armband to actively support inclusion in football, and received no response. Our players and coaches are disappointed – they are strong supporters of inclusion and will show their support in other ways,” the statement said.

Qatar, where homosexuality is illegal and punishable by up to three years in prison, has been criticized for its stance on LGBTQ rights in the run-up to the World Cup.

However, the country has repeatedly insisted that everyone is welcome at the tournament.

France have been part of a season-long campaign, but last week captain Hugo Lloris told reporters they would “respect” the local culture during the tournament.

Meanwhile, the Dutch Football Association said on Monday it was “deeply disappointed” that captain Virgil van Dijk will receive a yellow card for wearing armbands on the pitch.

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