Seven World Cup teams drop plan to wear "OneLove" armband backing LGBTQ rights

© Reuters

Bosses of seven European squads competing at the 2022 World Cup in Qatar on Monday caved in to threats of disciplinary action from organisers Fifa and confirmed team skippers would not wear a rainbow-themed armband in support of LGBTQ rights.

"Fifa has been very clear that it will impose sporting sanctions if our captains wear the armbands on the field of play," the seven teams said in a joint statement.

Under the rules of the world game's governing body, players wearing kit that is not authorised could be shown a yellow card.

If the player were to be booked again during the match, they would be sent off.

"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 federations of England, Wales, Belgium, Denmark, Germany, the Netherlands and Switzerland said.

Aim

The "OneLove" armband due to be worn by the likes of Harry Kane, Manuel Neuer and Eden Hazard is designed as part of a campaign to promote inclusivity.

The armbands had been promoted as a symbolic protest against laws in Qatar, where homosexuality is illegal.

Monday's decision came just hours before the Netherlands, England and Wales were due to play their opening games.

On Saturday, Neuer insisted he planned to wear the armband in Germany's games regardless of the threat of sanction.

"We have the complete backing of the German Football Association, we have no fear," Neuer said.


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