England, Germany, Netherlands back down from wearing ‘OneLove’ armband


England, Germany, the Netherlands and other European nations have backed down from wearing the ‘OneLove’ armband.

A statement from the FA read: “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 also announced that they were going to allow captains to wear the ‘No Discrimination’ armband throughout the entire World Cup, which was originally going to be distributed for the quarter-final stage.

The Athletic reported on Sunday that England were deciding whether to reverse their decision about supporting the ‘OneLove’ rainbow armband in Qatar, which intends to promote diversity and inclusion.

The captains of nine European countries, including England and Wales, had planned to wear the armband.

On the eve of the World Cup, however, FIFA instead launched its own armband initiative. Captains have been asked to wear a different armband on each match day, promoting social messages such as “Football unites the world” and “Share the meal” in a United Nations-backed campaign.

On Sunday, a number of players including Germany captain Manuel Neuer and Harry Kane reiterated their desire to wear the armband. However, Netherlands’ Virgil van Dijk admitted he “would have to discuss it” if he would be booked for wearing the armband.

The countries could have faced sanctions, including those of a sporting nature for wearing the armband. This could have included — according to FIFA’s rulebook — players being given an automatic yellow card.

Kane wore the armband in both of England’s Nations League matches in September. In the same month, the FA wrote to FIFA along with a number of other European nations to say that they intended to support the campaign at the World Cup. And, at one point, there was optimism that these nations would receive formal permission to wear the design.

The ‘OneLove’ campaign was started prior to Euro 2020 and was supported by the national teams of Belgium, Denmark, Germany, England, France, the Netherlands, Norway, WalesSweden and Switzerland.

The campaign was initially started by the Dutch Football Association, who say “the creators want to express their support for unification of all people and at the same time they want to speak out against all forms of discrimination”.

The armband, which does not specifically reference homophobia or any other forms of discrimination, is a multicoloured design with the words ‘OneLove’ and a number 1 inside a heart.

Same-sex relationships and the promotion of same-sex relationships are criminalised in Qatar.

Read more: Germany players covered their mouths in protest over FIFA’s ban of ‘OneLove’ armband

(Photo: Getty Images)


Related posts

Leave a Comment