FIFA’s threat to punish players on the field forced World Cup teams to back down on Monday and abandon plans for captains to wear armbands.
Hours before the first players to wear armbands supporting the ‘One Love’ campaign took to the field, FIFA warned them they would be shown an immediate yellow card. be fined. The display violates FIFA rules.
The stalemate was just the latest controversy that threatened to overshadow play. Conservative Muslim Qatar has been criticized for its treatment of low-paid migrant workers and the criminalization of homosexuality since winning the World Cup in 2010.
The armband decision comes three days after beer sales at stadiums were suddenly banned under pressure from the Qatari government, and two days after FIFA president Gianni Infantino delivered an extraordinary speech defending the host country’s human rights record. was done later.
The captains of seven European nations pledged to wear armbands bearing the heart-shaped multicolored logo of the ‘One Love’ campaign, which promotes inclusiveness and diversity in football and society. Viewers could see symbols of disapproval of the host nation and defiance of FIFA on the arms of England’s Harry Kane, Holland’s Virgil van Dijk and Wales’ Gareth Bale on Monday. .
Yellow card threat
Ultimately, the team said they couldn’t sacrifice their success on the field. A yellow card is a caution, but two yellow cards will result in the player being ejected from the field for the remainder of the game and banned from the next match. Elimination round begins.
“As a national federation, we cannot put our players in a position where they could face sports sanctions, including warnings,” the seven football federations said in a joint statement.
The captains of Belgium, Switzerland, Germany and Denmark have also pledged to wear armbands in the coming days.
In a separate statement, the Dutch Football Federation said: “Our number one priority at the World Cup is to win the match. ‘We don’t want the captain to start the match with a yellow card.’
England’s Football Supporters Association said it felt betrayed by FIFA.
“The Financial Services Agency (FSA) despises an organization that has shown its true worth by giving players yellow cards and lenient red cards,” it said.
Guruchaten Sandhu of the Geneva-based International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex Association said FIFA puts athletes in a “very awkward” position.
“You tied the hands of the national team. They’re there to compete,” he said.
It was not immediately clear how Qatar’s dictatorship influenced the decision. The Qatari government, which oversees the World Cup, and its supreme committee, Delivery and Heritage, did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
Violation of terms
Although Europe’s plans were in clear violation of the World Cup rules and FIFA’s general rules regarding team equipment for the match, Danish Football Federation president Jakob Jensen told Danish broadcaster TV2: The organization said it was “very disappointed with FIFA”.
“They have known our position for a long time,” said Jensen. “As FIFA says we stand for inclusion, we stand for inclusion. I don’t see how our message contradicts the message FIFA wants to send. ”
FIFA raised the possibility of a yellow card during a tough meeting with the European Football Federation on Sunday.
The Football Association’s Equipment Regulations state that “At the FIFA Final Competition, the captain of each team must wear the captain’s armband provided by FIFA”.
The proposal, unveiled on Saturday, was for the captains to wear armbands with a common but socially conscious slogan. The only selected slogan in line with — will only appear during the quarter-final stage.
On Monday, it offered a compromise, saying all 32 team captains would “get the chance” to wear armbands with the slogan “No Discrimination” in group games.
World Cup teams drop rainbow armbands after FIFA threats.
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