The managers of several European teams will not wear the “OneLove” jerseys at the World Cup in Qatar due to the risk of receiving yellow cards.
England, the Netherlands, Belgium, Denmark, Germany, Switzerland and Wales were set to participate in the “OneLove” campaign to promote inclusion and fight discrimination.
But those countries’ organizations said in a statement on Monday that the armband – which has a heart striped in different colors to represent all races, backgrounds, genders and sexual identities – cannot be worn in Qatar.
“FIFA [football’s global governing body] It is very clear that it will impose sporting sanctions if our managers wear armbands on the pitch,” the joint statement read.
“As national bodies, we cannot put our players in a position where they could face sporting sanctions including banning, so we have asked the managers not to try to wear the armbands in FIFA World Cup matches.”
“We were prepared to pay the fines that would normally apply to violations of the equipment regulations and we had a strong commitment to wearing a bow. However, we will not place the players ours in situations where they can be booked or forced out of the stadium,” the statement said.
The decision not to display the armband in Qatar comes hours before England’s match against Iran, while Wales face the US and the Netherlands play Senegal later on Monday.
The countries said they were “dismayed” by what they described as an “unprecedented” decision by FIFA to allow managers to wear the belt.
“We wrote to FIFA in September informing them of our desire to wear the One Love bow to actively support inclusive football, and we didn’t hear back. The players and coaches We are disappointed – they are strong supporters of inclusion and will show support in other ways,” the statement continued.
France have been part of a long campaign but last week captain Hugo Lloris told reporters he would “respect” the local culture during the tournament.
However, the Dutch football association said on Monday it was “deeply disappointed” that captain Virgil van Dijk could receive a yellow card if he wears the belt on the pitch.
In the build-up to the World Cup, Qatar – where homosexuality is illegal and punishable by up to three years in prison – has come under fire for its stance on LGBTQ rights.
A report from Human Rights Watch, published last month, documented cases as recently as September of Qatari security forces arbitrarily arresting LGBT people and subjecting them to “ill-treatment in custody.”
However, the country has insisted that “everyone is welcome” in the competition, adding in a statement to CNN this month that “Our track record has shown that we have welcomed all people regardless of race.” where are they from.”
A statement sent to CNN last week on behalf of the Supreme Committee on Delivery and Legacy (SC) which, since its creation in 2011, has been responsible for overseeing infrastructure projects and planning for the World Cup, stated that it is committed to “a World Cup that includes everyone and does not discriminate”, pointing out that the country has hosted hundreds of international and national sports since it was awarded the World Cup in 2010.
Around the same time the countries announced that their managers would not wear the Qatar jersey, FIFA launched its “No Discrimination” campaign and said that all 32 managers will have the opportunity to wear campaign-related clothing.
“I am still talking about this issue with the people of the country [Qatar] the highest leadership,” said FIFA president Gianni Infantino at a press conference on Saturday.
“They confirmed, and I can confirm, that everyone is welcome. If anyone says otherwise, it is not the opinion of the country and it is not the opinion of FIFA.”
But FIFA’s decision to penalize players for wearing the “OneLove” shirt has nevertheless sparked outrage, with the Football Supporters’ Association, the national representative body for football supporters in England and Wales, it says “it feels sad.”
“Since 2010 we have been raising questions about Qatar’s eligibility to host the World Cup,” a statement from the FSA said.
“Everyone saw this coming, and it’s shocking that on the morning of England’s World Cup opener, FIFA is banning players … who wish to share a positive message.”