captains England, Wales, Belgium, Denmark, Germany and Holland They will not wear the ‘OneLove’ anti-discrimination armband during World Cup opening matches after it has been confirmed that their captain will receive a yellow card if they take part in the initiative.
The announcement came just before the World Cup campaigns were scheduled to begin. The national federations said they were prepared to pay fines to their captains to wear the ‘OneLove’ armband, but had to change their plans when it became clear that their captain would be sanctioned.
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In a joint statement from the nations, “FIFA has made it very clear that it will impose sporting sanctions if our captains wear law enforcement on the playground.” “As national federations, we cannot put our players in a position where they can face sporting sanctions, including penalties, so we have asked captains not to try to wear law enforcement during FIFA World Cup matches.
“We were normally prepared to pay fines for violations of the jersey rules and we had a strong commitment to wearing the armband. However, we cannot put our players in a situation where they could be penalized or even forced to leave the field of play.
“We are very frustrated by FIFA’s decision, which we believe is unique – we wrote to FIFA in September of our desire to wear the ‘OneLove’ armband to actively support participation in football, and we did not receive any response. Our players and coaches were disappointed — the strengths of inclusion. supporters and will show support in other ways as well.”
Before the tournament begins, FIFA has announced that it will feature seven different armbands for each round of the competition, each with various social messaging slogans. However, shortly after seven countries announced on Monday that they would no longer wear the ‘OneLove’ armband, FIFA announced that it would make the ‘No Discrimination’ armband available throughout the tournament, which was previously set to be worn during the quarterfinals.
“Following discussions, FIFA can confirm that the ‘No Discrimination’ campaign has been pulled forward from the scheduled quarter-final phase so that all 32 captains will have the opportunity to wear this armband during the Qatar 2022 FIFA World Cup,” the statement said.
“This is in line with Article 13.8.1 of the FIFA Equipment Regulations, which states that ‘In FIFA Final Competitions, each team captain must wear the FIFA supplied captain’s armband’.”
The Dutch were the first to announce this to the public. Virgil Van Dijk He didn’t wear his armband. “Today, hours before the first game, it was clear to us from FIFA that the captain will receive a yellow card if he wears the ‘OneLove’ captain armband. We are very sorry. It was not possible to reach a reasonable solution together,” KNVB said in a statement. .
“We stand for the ‘OneLove’ message and we will continue to spread it, but our #1 priority at the World Cup is to win the games. You don’t want the captain to start the game with a yellow card. So, as the UEFA working group, the KNVB and the team, we regret that we had to abandon our plan.”
KNVB added: “As previously announced, KNVB would have paid a possible fine for wearing the ‘OneLove’ captain armband, but it’s never seen FIFA want to punish us on the pitch. It’s against our spirit. The sport that connects millions of people. With other countries involved. Together, we will take a critical look at our relationship with FIFA in the coming period.”
France, which is part of the initiative, will also not wear the armband. Noel Le Graet, president of the French Football Federation (FFF), said he would “prefer” players. didn’t wear rainbow armbandsas captain Hugo Lloris He reiterated the team’s stance at a press conference on Monday after saying he’d been there before. “too much pressure” He plays for protest in Qatar.
Nine countries, including Germany, the Netherlands and Belgium, agreed in September to wear the armband as a symbol of peace. diversity, inclusion and combating discrimination Among the concerns about the World Cup hosting Qatar’s human rights record.
Both FIFA and UEFA generally do not allow teams to make political statements, but European football’s governing body has granted an exemption for the wearing of armbands in UEFA Nations League matches.
FIFA has not been clear on its stances, and just a day before the World Cup kicks off, it has released its own armbands that encourage public awareness for all captains to wear. Nine nations, of which only seven were at the World Cup, were prepared to accept fines for gestures, but there were suggestions that any captain could receive a yellow card at the kick-off of every match.
And on the day that European countries were preparing to start their World Cup campaign, they made a unilateral decision not to wear the armband for fear of sanctions on their captains.
The day before England’s opening game Iraniancaptains Harry Kane He said he plans to wear it.
“I think we’ve made it clear that as a team, staff and organization we want to wear the armband,” Kane said on Sunday. “I know the FA is talking to FIFA right now and I’m sure we’ll have made a decision by game time tomorrow. I think we’ve made it clear that we want to wear it.”
Dutch coach Louis van Gaal and captain Van Dijk were asked if they would wear the armband at a press conference the day before the opening. Dutch coach Van Gaal said: “I’m not going to talk about political issues anymore, I’m talking about the next game and putting an end to all these issues.
“After inviting immigrants to watch a practice session, I asked all our players to stop it completely and focus on the Senegal game.”
Other countries have confirmed plans to wear the armband, with both Wales and Germany doing so over the weekend.
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