European teams to not wear ‘OneLove’ armband after FIFA threatens to ban

Notably, England captain Harry Kane had been due to wear the OneLove armband against Iran on Monday afternoon.

Ritesh PathakAuthor

Updated - 21 November 2022 05:38 PM

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The captains of European countries including England, Wales, Belgium, and the Netherlands will no more sport the ‘OneLove’ armband as the football governing body has warned them about the same and has also threatened to book the teams who don’t follow the directive. All these countries issued a joint statement clearing their stand on the matter. Notably, England’s manager Gareth Southgate and captain Harry Kane had said that they would wear the armband no matter what. 

However, as FIFA has clearly threatened with a potential sporting sanction, a joint statement from seven European nations who had signed up for the One Love campaign – which included England and Wales – confirmed the armbands will no longer be worn.  

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

Notably, England captain Harry  Kane had been due to wear the OneLove armband against Iran on Monday afternoon, while Wales skipper Gareth Bale was due to wear it in the match against the United States later in the evening.  The band contains the rainbow colours associated with the Pride flag and had been set to be a strong statement in Qatar, a country which criminalises same-sex relationships.

Will show support in other ways

The seven countries, however, said that they are frustrated with FIFA’s stand on the matter but don’t want to put their players in a risky position. The statement issued by these seven countries also said that they will find other ways to show their support towards inclusion of everyone into the sport. 

“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. Our players and coaches are disappointed – they are strong supporters of inclusion and will show support in other ways,” read the statement. 

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