Nations Back Down As FIFA Confirm Players Who Wear The ‘OneLove’ Armband At World Cup Games Will Immediately Receive A Yellow Card

Jesse Williams

By Jesse Williams

Jesse Williams

21 Nov 2022

England, Germany and other European nations have decided to not wear the OneLove armband at the World Cup in Qatar after FIFA confirmed players will be booked.

Captains of nine countries had planned to wear the armband to promote diversity and inclusion.

FIFA have enforced its directive that political statements should not be made in football matches in a move to not upset its hosts Qatar with an explicitly pro-LGBTQ+ message.

The governing bodies said they had written to Fifa in September informing them about the OneLove armband but had not received a response until Monday morning.

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

“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.

The Football Supporters’ Association also said: “We are very frustrated by the Fifa decision which we believe is unprecedented.”

“Today we feel contempt for an organisation that has shown its true values by giving the yellow card to players and the red card to tolerance,” it added.

“No country which falls short on LGBT+ rights, women’s rights, workers’ rights or any other universal human right should be given the honour of hosting a World Cup.

“It’s astonishing that, on the morning of England’s World Cup opener, Fifa are censoring players and the nine national FAs who wish to share a positive message.”

Captains will now be permitted to wear a No Discrimination armband for the duration of the tournament.