‘Frustrated’ England & Wales among teams who won’t wear OneLove armbands at 2022 World Cup after FIFA yellow card threat
- Nations were prepared to face fines
- Governing body would have handed out cards
- Alternative messages promoting inclusivity to be explored
WHAT HAPPENED? The Football Associations of seven countries – with Belgium, Denmark, Germany, the Netherlands and Switzerland also involved – have issued a joint statement in which they have aired their disappointment and frustration at world football’s governing body for threatening to issue yellow cards to any captain wearing accessories that are not officially sanctioned. The teams involved were prepared to “pay fines that would normally apply to breaches of kit regulations”, but begrudgingly accept that they “cannot put our players in the situation where they might be booked or even forced to leave the field of play”.
WHAT THEY SAID: The statement reads: “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.”
THE BIGGER PICTURE: The Associations at the heart of a long-running debate added: “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.”
IN THREE PHOTOS:
WHAT NEXT? England, Wales and the Netherlands will all be opening their respective World Cup campaigns in Qatar on Monday, with contests from Groups A and B taking centre stage on day two of a historic tournament in the Middle East.