Southgate addresses England's World Cup 'OneLove' armband U-turn amid threat of sanctions

Gareth Southgate England 2022
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Gareth Southgate has spoken out after England failed to follow through on their planned armband protest in Qatar.
  • England among nations to abandon armband plan
  • FIFA had threatened to book captains
  • Kane wears 'No Discrimination' logo instead

WHAT HAPPENED? Southgate has insisted he and his squad played no part in the decision to abandon plans for England and other European nations to wear a 'OneLove' armband at the Qatar World Cup. The armbands, which were aimed at promoting inclusion in a country where same-sex relations remain outlawed, were shelved in favour of replacements from FIFA featuring a logo reading 'No Discrimination'.

WHAT THEY SAID: Speaking in a press conference after the Three Lions' 6-2 rout of Iran, Southgate said: "It's not something that the players or myself have been involved in in the last 24 hours, those discussions have been ongoing between several European nations and FIFA.

"I actually do understand FIFA's situation in that you can set a precedent and it's very difficult then, where do you draw the line? I think in a ideal world it would have been a much clearer situation earlier, but it's not something that's been a distraction for us because, as I said yesterday, we had to focus on the football."

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THE BIGGER PICTURE: The captains of England, Wales, Belgium, Denmark, Germany, the Netherlands and Switzerland had all agreed to wear the armbands prior to the tournament, but will now face FIFA sanctions if they follow through on their plans.


Harry Kane armband

Harry Kane armband

WHAT NEXT FOR ENGLAND? Southgate will likely emphasise his message of 'focus on the football' as his side prepare to face the USA on Friday in their second group stage match.