England, Wales, Belgium, Switzerland, Germany, Denmark and The Netherlands Agree Not to Wear “One Love” Armband in Qatar

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England, Wales, Belgium, Switzerland, Germany, Denmark and The Netherlands are banned by FIFA from wearing One Love armband at the World Cup and they have finally accepted their fate.

England, Wales, Belgium, Switzerland, Germany, Denmark and The Netherlands Agree Not to Wear "One Love" Armband in Qatar

One Love armband wearers in the Qatar World Cup run the risk of receiving a booking for violating FIFA equipment regulations prior to the game.

Harry Kane of England, Gareth Bale of Wales, and Manuel Neuer of Germany were among the captains of nine European countries who planned to wear the One Love armbands to promote inclusivity and LGBTQ+ rights in Qatar.

The armband was suggested by the UEFA Working Group in support of inclusiveness and diversity. It featured a “heart containing colors emblematic of various backgrounds.”

In Qatar, same-sex relationships are forbidden.

After learning that captains who wore the armband would be subject to punishment in the form of a yellow card, the countries who were involved have agreed to bow out.

The English FA had earlier said that it had contacted FIFA in September to inform the body of its plan to wear the armband but had not heard back from FIFA.

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In line with that, FIFA announced on Monday that its “No Discrimination” campaign would now begin at the group stages instead of the quarterfinals as originally intended.

But the One Love armbands is considered unofficial attire, and players wearing them will be fined or given yellow cards.

“In accordance with FIFA regulations, captains’ armbands would give participating teams message opportunities for the campaign, the captain of each team must wear the captain’s armband provided by FIFA”, a FIFA statement read.

A combined declaration from the Football Associations of England, Wales, Belgium, Denmark, Germany, The Netherlands, and Switzerland, the Dutch FA, who started the “One Love” campaign before Euro 2020, opposed how FIFA is handling the criticism against Qatar.

The Football Supporters’ Association declared its “contempt” at FIFA following the announcement that Qatar would host the World Cup amidst the country’s alleged human rights crimes.

“Never again should a World Cup be handed out solely on the basis of money and infrastructure,” read a statement from the supporters’ association.

“No country which falls short on LGBT+ rights, women’s rights, worker’s rights or any other universal human right should be given the honour of hosting a World Cup.”

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England, Wales, Belgium, Switzerland, Germany, Denmark and The Netherlands Agree Not to Wear "One Love" Armband in Qatar

What Did FIFA Say against “One Love” Armband?

In regards to the update on the usage of the supposed “One Love” Armband, below is the full statement from FIFA:

“FIFA has been very clear that it will impose sporting sanctions if our captains wear the armbands on the field of play. As national federations, we can’t put our players in a position where they could face sporting sanctions including bookings, so we have asked the captains not to attempt to wear the armbands in FIFA World Cup games.”

“We were prepared to pay fines that would normally apply to breaches of kit regulations and had a strong commitment to wearing the armband. However, we cannot put our players in the situation where they might be booked or even forced to leave the field of play.”

“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 the One Love armband to actively support inclusion in football, and had no response.”

“Our players and coaches are disappointed – they are strong supporters of inclusion and will show support in other ways.”

England Team Was Ready To Shun Armband Rule

The FA’s Chief Executive, Mark Bullingham, had earlier stated that England was ready to pay a fine for using the armband.

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Due to worries about Qatar, he claimed it was “sad” that many LGBTQ+ England fans had not traveled there and it was ‘really important to show our values.’

The FA requested FIFA’s approval to wear the One Love armband last month, but they never heard back from the football body.

In response, FIFA has introduced its own captain’s armband as a part of a social campaign operated in conjunction with the UN that will support a new cause for each round of the competition.

“No Discrimination” will be the theme for the quarterfinals, but none of the campaigns address LGBTQ+ rights.

As it stands, England and other western countries have accepted FIFA’s instruction not to wear the “One Love” rainbow captain armband.

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