Captains from several European countries will not wear the OneLove

Captains from several European countries will not wear the ‘OneLove’ armband, which opposes discrimination, at the World Cup

(CNN) — The captains of several European teams will not wear “OneLove” armbands at the World Cup in Qatar due to the danger of receiving yellow cards.

England, the Netherlands, Belgium, Denmark, Germany, Switzerland and Wales were ready to participate in the “OneLove” campaign to promote inclusion and oppose discrimination.

The associations of those countries said in a statement on Monday that the bracelet, which features a heart striped in different colors to represent all heritages, origins, genders and sexual identities, will not be worn in Qatar.

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

“As national associations, we cannot put our players in a position where they may face sporting sanctions, including reservations, which is why we have asked captains not to attempt to wear the armbands in FIFA World Cup matches. ”, the statement added.

Harry Kane of England wore the “One Love” armband against Italy earlier this 2022. (Credit: Nick Potts/PA/Getty Images)

“We were prepared to pay the fines that would normally apply to infractions of the kit rules and we had a firm commitment to wear the armband. However, we cannot put our players in a situation where they can be booked or even forced to leave the field of play,” the statement added.

The decision not to display the armband in Qatar comes hours before England’s opening match against Iran, while Wales take on the United States and the Netherlands take on Senegal on Monday.

The countries said they were “frustrated” by what they described as FIFA’s “unprecedented” decision to penalize captains if they wore the armband.

“We wrote to FIFA in September informing them of our desire to use the One Love bracelet to actively support inclusion in football, and received no response. Our players and coaches are disappointed – they are strong supporters of inclusion and will show their support in other ways,” the statement continued.

In the build-up to the World Cup, Qatar, where being gay is illegal and punishable by up to three years in prison, has come under fire for its stance on LGBTQ rights.

However, the country has repeatedly insisted that “everyone is welcome” to the tournament.

France have been part of the campaign all season, but last week captain Hugo Lloris told reporters he would “respect” the local culture during the tournament.

Meanwhile, the Dutch football association said on Monday it was “deeply disappointed” that captain Virgil van Dijk received a yellow card if he wore the armband on the pitch.

What women and the LGBTQ community should know when visiting Qatar 4:38

Not wearing the One Love bracelet is a “betrayal”

The Football Supporters’ Association (FSA) said it “feels betrayed” after Monday’s announcement of several European teams.

“To paraphrase FIFA President Gianni Infantino, today LGBTQ+ football fans and allies will be angry. Today we feel betrayed. Today we feel contempt for an organization that has shown its true values ​​by giving the yellow card to the players and the red card to tolerance.” the FSA said on Twitter.

The FSA is the national representative body for football fans in England and Wales.

“Never again should a World Cup be delivered solely on the basis of money and infrastructure. No country that does not comply with LGBTQ+ rights, women’s rights, workers’ rights or any other universal human right should have the honor of hosting a World Cup,” the FSA statement added.

“Since 2010 we have been raising doubts about the suitability of Qatar as a venue for the World Cup. Everyone could see it coming and it is amazing that, on the morning of the opening match of the World Cup in England, FIFA is censoring the players… who want to share a positive message,” the statement concluded.