World Cup: Danish TV presenter ordered to take off OneLove armband

Danish reporter Jon Pagh was told to remove his 'One Love' armband while reporting on the World Cup in Qatar. (TV 2 Sport)
Danish reporter Jon Pagh was told to remove his OneLove armband while reporting on the World Cup in Qatar. (TV 2 Sport)

A Danish television reporter was ordered to remove his OneLove armband by Qatari officials as he was about to film a report on the World Cup.

Jon Pagh, from Denmark’s TV 2 Sport, was told by a security guard that he must remove the armband, which is being worn as a protest of all forms of discrimination during the tournament.

As the official ordered the removal and attempted to block filming, Pagh told him: “I respect that you're telling me that but I can't take it off.”

He added: “Why is this not allowed? Is it because of the colours?

“It's just one love. It’s just respecting everybody.”

The official then walked away from the scene, while Pagh kept the armband on.

File photo dated 23-09-2022 of England's Harry Kane with the One Love armband. Discussions over whether Harry Kane will wear a 'OneLove' armband against Iran remain ongoing just hours before England's World Cup campaign gets under way in Qatar. Issue date: Monday November 21, 2022.
England captain Harry Kane wears the One Love armband during a match in September. (PA)

Pagh later said that he and his colleagues left the hotel where they had been reporting and described the incident as “unpleasant”.

The wearing of the armband has become a political issue in Qatar, a country where homosexuality is punishable by a jail sentence or even death.

Denmark were among seven European national teams, including England and Wales, who dropped plans to wear the anti-discrimination armband following threats by Fifa to impose sporting sanctions.

Watch: England team should have worn OneLove armband, says Roy Keane

Fifa announced on Saturday its own plans for an armband to highlight a series of social campaigns at each stage of the tournament.

They insisted that the only armbands permitted to be worn during the tournament must be “provided by Fifa”.

A Fifa statement said: “Fifa is an inclusive organisation that wants to put football to the benefit of society by supporting good and legitimate causes, but it has to be done within the framework of the competition regulations which are known to everyone.”

Former danish prime Minister Helle Thorning-Schmidt wears a rainbow coloured sleeves on her outfit during the  Qatar 2022 World Cup Group D football match between Denmark and Tunisia at the Education City Stadium in Al-Rayyan, west of Doha on November 22, 2022. - Denmark OUT (Photo by Mads Claus Rasmussen / Ritzau Scanpix / AFP) / Denmark OUT (Photo by MADS CLAUS RASMUSSEN/Ritzau Scanpix/AFP via Getty Images)
Former Danish prime minister Helle Thorning-Schmidt wears a rainbow coloured sleeves on her outfit during the World Cup match between Denmark and Tunisia in Qatar. (Getty)

England captain Harry Kane instead wore Fifa’s ‘No discrimination’ armband – which is not rainbow coloured – as England started their campaign against Iran on Monday afternoon.

A joint statement from the seven European countries who backed down in wearing the OneLove armbands confirmed they would no longer be worn due to fear of a yellow card being issued.

“Fifa has been very clear that it will impose sporting sanctions if our captains wear the armbands on the field of play,” the statement said.

DOHA, QATAR - NOVEMBER 21: Harry Kane of England during the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 Group B match between England and IR Iran at Khalifa International Stadium on November 21, 2022 in Doha, Qatar. (Photo by Visionhaus/Getty Images)
Harry Kane wore a Fifa-approved armband during England's match against Iran on Monday. (Getty)

It added: “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.”

It comes as rainbow bucket hats were confiscated from Wales supporters in Qatar this week.

Former Wales team captain Laura McAllister, who is an ambassador for her country at the tournament, was among a number of supporters told to remove the hats.

Some have claimed they were told it was a “banned symbol” despite Fifa previously saying rainbow coloured flags and clothing were not prohibited in the stadiums.