The threat of the world football association did not fail to have an effect. After FIFA did not accept the “One Love” captain’s ribbon, which stands for diversity and tolerance, at the Qatar World Cup, seven European nations declared their waiver on Monday. Crucial to the decision was an official threat from FIFA that any player playing with the ribbon would be punished with a yellow card, as the associations announced.
England, Germany, the Netherlands, Wales, Denmark, Belgium and Switzerland will therefore not use the loop. France’s captain Hugo Lloris had recently announced that he would not wear them.
“The fact that FIFA wants to punish us on the pitch is unique and goes against the spirit of sport, which unites millions,” said the Dutch association KNVB. “We stand by the One Love message and will continue to spread it, but our number one priority is to win games. You don’t want the captain to start the game with a yellow card.” We regret that no joint solution was found. They will take a “critical look at our relationship with FIFA” in the coming months.
The reasoning of FIFA
In a statement on Monday, FIFA explicitly highlighted Article 13.8.1 of the Equipment Rules: “For FIFA finals competitions, the captain of each team must wear an arm loop provided by FIFA.” FIFA supports campaigns like ‘One Love’, but this must be done within the framework of the rules known to all. As a result, the team captains could now appear with slogans provided by the world association. The motto of the first matchday is “Football unites the world”.
Trenches seem to be opening up at the World Cup, which started on Sunday. “Today, LGBT+ football fans and their allies will feel angry. Today we feel betrayed,” the Football Supporters’ Association (FSA) fan organization wrote in response to the ban on the “One Love” ribbon. “Today we feel contempt for an organization that has proven its true values by showing players the yellow card and tolerance the red card.”
The first captain to openly flout FIFA regulations during the finals would have been England’s Harry Kane in Monday’s match against Iran. “We had been willing to pay penalties, which would normally be the case for dress code violations. However, we couldn’t put our players in a situation where they could get a yellow card or even be forced to leave the field “said the joint statement distributed by the English FA.
“Getting a yellow card when you’re already on the pitch – that can’t be,” said Denmark national coach Kasper Hjulmand, who was surprised by the latest developments at the matchday press conference. Although Hjulmand left it open whether his captain Simon Kjaer will wear the ribbon, his association supports the waiver according to the joint statement by the Europeans.
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