Posted: Mon 21st Nov 2022

Wales decide not to wear OneLove armband at World Cup

News and Info from Deeside, Flintshire, North Wales
This article is old - Published: Monday, Nov 21st, 2022

Wales, England and other European nations will not wear the OneLove armband at the World Cup in Qatar after a threat from FIFA.

The governing body has said captains could face an instant yellow card for wearing the armband.

The captains of nine countries, including Wales’ Gareth Bale of Wales and England’s Harry Kane had planned to wear One Love armbands in their matches to send a message against discrimination while playing in Qatar, a country where homosexuality is illegal.

A joint statement from the Football Associations of Wales, England, Belgium, Denmark, Germany, The Netherlands and Switzerland said:

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.

 

FIFA rules state that for “Final Competitions, the captain of each team must wear the captain’s armband provided by Fifa.”

Football associations had been expecting to pay a fine for breaching the rules, but are now concerned that players could face punishments on the pitch. Receiving a yellow card at kick-off would put players at heightened risk of being sent off during a match.

Previously Wales captain Gareth Bale said: “It’s wonderful to see the nations unite to support the OneLove campaign as we stand together against all forms of discrimination. We know the world will be watching us and this campaign emphasises that everybody in football has at least one thing in common; their love for the game. By working together we can send a unified message that we are against any form of exclusion and discrimination.”

The OneLove campaign say they “….will use the power of football to promote inclusion and send a message against discrimination of any kind when the teams play at the FIFA World Cup later this year.

“This message will be symbolised through the distinctive OneLove armbands that will be worn by the men’s national team captains. The armbands carry a heart containing colours representative of all backgrounds.”

England open their World Cup campaign this afternoon against Iran, and Wales play USA in the evening match.

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