FIFA bans word ‘love’ from Belgium jersey

FIFA has rejected Belgium’s request to wear a label with the word “love” on its shirt during the World Cup in Qatar, due to the relationship between the symbol in question and an electronic music festival.

The multicolored details on the white jersey were described as a “symbol of mutual values ​​on diversity, equality and inclusion” in September, when it was launched by Belgium’s flagship electronic music event Tommorrowland.

But FIFA rules on national team uniforms and equipment forced the Belgian team to change their plans around their first alternate jersey during the World Cup. Belgium’s first choice of clothing at the tournament includes the traditional red jacket.

“We had to avoid this for commercial reasons, due to the reference to Tomorrowland,” the Belgian federation said on Monday.

FIFA declined to comment on its decision regarding the jersey, which was reportedly made weeks ago.

The decision was made public on Monday, hours after FIFA also exercised its power to ban the captains of Belgium and six other European teams from wearing a bracelet with the symbol “One Love”, which includes a heart in the colors of the rainbow, in Qatar. .

The teams reversed their decision when FIFA threatened that each captain would receive a yellow card for wearing the emblem.

The armband, which would violate FIFA equipment rules, was seen as a symbol of support for a Dutch anti-discrimination campaign.

The campaign drew attention to Qatar’s questionable human rights record.

The “One Love” campaign has now drawn attention to little-known FIFA rules, which Belgium is reported to have broken as well.

The 32 teams contesting the World Cup have to apply for the go-ahead from FIFA for the designs and colors of three contrasting kits ahead of the tournament FIFA has now approved Belgium’s white jersey with the same stripes but labeled “love” cover on the inside of the neck.

“In principle, we could play” in the World Cup, said the Belgian federation. “But in the meantime, we chose to play in red for the group stage matches.”

Belgium begins their participation on Wednesday against Canada, one of their rivals in Group F. Semi-finalists in 2018, the Belgians will then face Morocco and Croatia, the defending runners-up.

In a similar case involving UEFA last year, Ajax was denied permission to include an emblem inspired by reggae icon Bob Marley for European Champions League matches.