FIFA World Cup 2022: England and Wales to defy FIFA over pro-LGBTQ plus armbands in Qatar

The decision could result in a fine imposed by FIFA.

Aakash SrivastavaAuthor

Updated - 19 November 2022 06:35 PM

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England and Wales are set to cross swords with FIFA over a captain's armband promoting a 'One Love' message. Three Lions Harry Kane and Red Dragon's Gareth Bale will defy the game's governing body to show their continued support to the LGBTQ + community and raise awareness regarding discrimination people face in Qatar.

The rainbow-coloured armband indicates an anti-discrimination initiative. Notably, same-sex relationships are currently outlawed in Qatar, with homosexuality even punishable by death under laws in the country. 

Notably, FIFA partnered with United Nations to unveil their range of armbands on Saturday, promoting different messages throughout each tournament round. But England and Wales have already stated their commitment to the 'One Love' campaign, and both countries are determined that both Kane and Bale will be sporting symbols for their World Cup opener against Iran and United States respectively on Tuesday.

"We respect that FIFA armband, but we are committed to the OneLove armband and intent to wear it," the FA stated in a released statement. England chief executive Mark Bullingham confirmed that the organization was prepared to take a stand against FIFA even if they were called to account over their stance. 

Nine countries have so far confirmed their commitment to the campaign, with England and Wales now likely to be fined for refusing to follow FIFA's protocol. As a result, most of the FIFA-proposed armbands now introduced do not reference any anti-discrimination campaign.

However, FIFA has proposed that captains wear an armband with the message #FootballUnitesTheWorld in the first round of group matches and change the armband to #SaveThePlanet in the second round. 

FIFA's idea is that the concluding round of group games should have the message #ProtectChildren #SheTheMeal on the captain's armband. England captain Kane has insisted that he was ready to wear the 'OneLove' armband regardless of FIFA's stance. "We have decided we want to wear it, and that's our thought process going forward," the Tottenham striker said in October.

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