The OneLove armband, worn as a symbol of inclusion and anti-discrimination, was due to be worn by Harry Kane and the captain of six other nations, until FIFA threatened punishment for doing so.
“FIFA has been very clear that it will impose sporting sanctions if our captains wear the armbands on the field of play,” a joint statement from the nations read.
England, along with five other nations, were initially prepared to pay a fine for their captains to wear the OneLove armband but, once it was confirmed their captains would be sanctioned, they did not want to take that risk.
They added: “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.”
However, Scott took this opportunity to show her support. The former England right-back has been a vocal critic of Qatar’s human-rights record and treatment of LGBTQ+ people in the build-up to the World Cup.
But who is Scott?
Who is Alex Scott?
Scott is a 38-year-old former Lioness defender turned sports presenter.
The London-born footballer has made 140 appearances for the England national team and represented Great Britain at the 2012 Summer Olympics.
She was first spotted and signed by Arsenal at the age of eight in 1992, and played for the team as well as Birmingham City for a short time until her retirement in 2018.
Scott teased a career in media while still playing football, appearing on programmes such as Soccer AM, with other minor roles at BBC Sport, Sky Sports, and BT Sport. Today, she is best known for presenting for the BBC and BBC Sport.
She won Bear Grylls’ ITV show Mission Survive in 2016.
Alex Scott’s decision to present the World Cup
Much of this year’s World Cup build-up has focused on Qatar’s laws on homosexuality and its treatment of migrant workers - thousands of whom died constructing stadiums for the tournament.
Homosexuality is illegal in Qatar and even punishable by death in some circumstances. LGBTQ+ people have been heavily discouraged from entering the country for this year’s World Cup due to this reason.
Scott respects that many people will want to boycott this year’s World Cup and defended her decision to present the games.
“I totally understand their reasons as well as a whole heap of fans from around the world from the LGBT+ community not wanting to travel here,” Scott said on BBC Sport.
“I’m here because I love my job and, when I think about it, sitting here and having the harder conversations: we’re talking about the migrant workers, LGBTQ+ community, we’re talking about women’s rights.
“You think about four years ago, I was the first female pundit for the BBC at a World Cup. You think how far we’ve moved in four years. Let’s hope, in the next four years, we’re never having to have these conversations again.”