World Cup 2022: England And Wales Footballers Abandon One Love Pride Armbands in Qatar

They had planned to wear the bands to promote diversity and LGBTQ+ inclusion
The teams have U-turned on the decision
James Williamson - AMA via Getty Images
The teams have U-turned on the decision

England, Wales and other European countries who were set to wear One Love armbands at the World Cup 2022 in Qatar have U-turned on their decision.

FIFA had said that they would introduce yellow cards to players who opted to wear the pride armbands during matches.

England’s team captain Harry Kane and Gareth Bale of Wales were going to wear the armbands in Qatar, where same-sex relationships are criminalised.

However, according to the BBC, a joint statement issued from seven national Football Associations, including the English and Welsh FAs, said they could not put their players “in a position where they could face sporting sanctions”

The statement read: “We are very frustrated by the FIFA decision which we believe is unprecedented.

“FIFA has been very clear that it will impose sporting sanctions if our captains wear the armbands on the field of play.

“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.

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

Captains of teams are allowed to wear ‘No Discrimination’ armbands for the duration of the World Cup.

Peter Tatchell, Director, Peter Tatchell Foundation said of the decision: “The OneLove armband was the tiniest of gestures. It did not even specifically mention LGBT+ people. It was a weak campaign but even that was too much for FIFA, who have bullied the England team to not wear it.

“Two days ago FIFA’s president spoke of inclusivity but this ruling shows his true colours.
“I urge the team captains at their post-match press conferences to spend just 30 seconds to speak out for the rights of women, LGBTs and migrant workers. That would have a huge impact, reaching a global audience of hundreds of millions of people.”

What is the One Love armband?

One Love armbands are “to promote inclusion and send a message against discrimination of any kind” - in Qatar, same-sex relationships are illegal.

The campaign was originally launched by the Netherlands and was supported by England, Belgium, Denmark, France, Germany, Norway, Sweden, Switzerland and Wales before the U-turn.