the main points
- FIFA has vowed to punish players who wear anti-discrimination armbands.
- Seven captains from European countries had planned to wear the OneLove armbands.
- Under a decree issued by FIFA on Monday, captains would have received yellow cards if they wore the bands.
Australian soccer player Josh Cavallo – who became the first professional player in the first division – Says FIFA has shown his sport is not for everyone by vowing to punish players who wear anti-discrimination armbands at the World Cup.
Seven captains from European countries had planned to dress up At the World Cup in Qatar, a nation .
The captains wanted armbands to promote inclusion and diversity in football and society.
But under a decree issued by FIFA on Monday, captains would have received yellow cards if they wore armbands during matches.
“FIFA has lost my respect,” Cavallo wrote on social media.
“All the work we do to make football more inclusive has shown that football is not a place for everyone.”
The captain’s armband of Norway’s Martin Odegaard during the international friendly match between the Republic of Ireland and Norway at the Aviva Stadium in Dublin. source: GT / (Piaras Ó Midheach/Sportsfile via Getty Images)
Football captain Matt Ryan said the FIFA badge decree had been distributed to all countries competing in the World Cup.
“I knew it would result in a straight yellow card,” said Ryan.
Ryan was among 16 NFL players who released a video message prior to this calling on the host country to decriminalize same-sex relations.
“Together with the players’ union, we issued our statement a month ago…just in an effort to affect positive change in the world.” He said.
Asked about his feelings about the captaincy ordinance, Ryan replied, “I have no comment. We’ve made our statement with our players’ association. That’s all we can control.”
England’s Harry Kane, Dutch Virgil van Dijk and Wales’ Gareth Bale were all set to wear the OneLove armbands for Monday’s matches.
The captains of Belgium, Switzerland, Germany and Denmark were also expected to wear armbands in the coming days.
But the seven European federations issued a joint statement after FIFA’s decree saying they would no longer wear armbands.
“As national federations, we cannot put our players in a position where they can face sporting sanctions, including cautions,” the statement said.
Former England defender Rio Ferdinand has criticized the Seven Nations’ decline.
“The first bump is in the way and they folded up like a deck of cards,” he told the BBC.
But DFB president Bernd Neuendorf said the move was “an outrageous display of FIFA’s strength”.
“The fact that FIFA wants to punish us on the pitch is unprecedented and goes against the spirit of sport that unites millions,” the KNVB said.
The OneLove campaign has started in the Netherlands.
Its symbol was a multicolored heart-shaped logo intended to promote inclusion and diversity in football and society.
The band contained the colors of the rainbow associated with the pride flag and was destined to be a strong statement in Qatar, Qatar, a country where same-sex relations are criminalised.
According to FIFA rules, team equipment must not contain any political, religious or personal slogans, statements or images.
During competitions, the captain of each team must “wear the captain’s armband provided by FIFA”.
FIFA said on Monday that the captains of the 32 teams “will have the opportunity” to wear a “no discrimination” armband in group matches.
The board also refused permission for Belgium to wear the second strip because of the word “love” in the collar as well as rainbow trim on the shirt.
If the word “Love” is removed from the inside of the jersey, the team is allowed to wear it.
The design is inspired by the fireworks of the famous Belgian music festival Tomorrowland and it symbolizes diversity, equality and inclusivity.