Following on from the decision two days ago to make a last minute ban on the sale of alcohol to ordinary fans whilst watching the World Cup games in the stadium, despite it being accepted right up until the day before yesterday’s opening game featuring Qatar against Ecuador.
Now FIFA have made it clear once again that they will pander to the wishes of the Qataris to ban the One Love armbands, which signifies equality and inclusion of LBGT+ rights for everyone in football.
And it is not just Harry Kane’s England team, this has also affected Wales, Belgium, Denmark, Germany and the Netherlands, who also had intended to wear them.
“FIFA has been very clear that it will impose sporting sanctions if our captains wear the armbands on the field of play,” a joint statement from the nations read. “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.
“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.”
The delay in response until the first day the armband was going to be worn is yet again giving the teams no chance to formulate a concerted response or protest, and just like the beer ban, gives them no room to manouevre.
What other rules are going to be imposed by this repressive Qatari regime?
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Watch the Arsenal lads in training ahead of England’s opening game against Iran.
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