Monday, November 28, 2022

England cancel OneLove bracelet protest after Fifa threaten to book Harry Kane

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Kane was scheduled to wear the armband throughout the tournament, along with captains from Wales, Denmark and the Netherlands

England were forced into a dramatic U-turn at the last minute after captain Harry Kane was due to wear a ‘One Love’ armband during his World Cup season.

The Football Association had announced plans for Kane to join a group of 10 national team captains, including Wales skipper Gareth Bale, to support the OneLove campaign as part of their effort to highlight the oppression of the LGBT+ community in Qatar, where homosexuality is illegal.

England had expected to be fined for their actions in breach of Fifa’s equipment rules and said they would be happy to pay them.

But just 24 hours before their opening game against Iran, World Cup organizers said that if they go ahead with their plans, the captains would be booked immediately after the game begins, according to a joint statement from England, Wales, Belgium, the Netherlands, Switzerland, Germany and Denmark.

“FIFA has made it very clear that if our captains wear the armbands on the pitch, they will impose sporting sanctions,” the statement said.

“As national federations we cannot put our players in a situation where they face sporting sanctions including warnings, so we have asked captains not to try to wear the armbands at FIFA World Cup matches.

“We were willing to pay fines that would normally be imposed for gear violations and had a strong commitment to wearing the armband.

“However, we must not put our players in a situation where they are cautioned or even forced to leave the field.

“We are very frustrated by Fifa’s decision, which we believe is unprecedented – we wrote to Fifa in September informing them of our desire to wear the OneLove armband to actively support inclusion in football and have received no response . Our players and coaches are disappointed – they are strong advocates of inclusion and will show their support in other ways.”

The Football Supporters’ Association said they felt “betrayed” by Fifa’s rigidity.

“To paraphrase Fifa President Gianni Infantino, today LGBT+ football fans and their allies will be furious,” the FSA said in a statement.

“Today we feel betrayed. Today we feel contempt for an organization that has shown its true values ​​by showing players the yellow card and tolerance the red card.

“Never again should a World Cup be awarded solely for money and infrastructure. No country that disregards LGBT+ rights, women’s rights, labor rights or other universal human rights should be given the honor of hosting a World Cup.

“Since 2010 we have been asking questions about Qatar’s suitability to host the World Cup. Everyone could see this coming and it’s amazing that on the morning of the World Cup opener in England, Fifa are trying to censor players who have spread a positive message.”

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