The discussion about the rainbow bracelet is a painful loss of face for the countries after their firm statement.
Anyway, I also understand their fear of sporting sanctions. It’s just too easy to judge that. The players are here for a sporting performance.
The only way to counter this was through general solidarity among the participating countries, or at least a large part.
If roughly 25 countries say their captain wears the band and step off the field together with a yellow card… If the majority do, then there will be no more World Cup and FIFA will have to fold.
In an even more ideal world, the referees will join in and not give yellow to those captains.
But as I say it, I know it’s a utopia.
With their beautiful plan, the countries simply succumbed to FIFA’s blackmail. Because that’s what FIFA has done, blackmail.
Why FIFA is so strict? I can only give one explanation: pressure from the regime, the government, the organizing committee.
FIFA has already had to do that with the ban on alcohol in the vicinity of stadiums.
It is strange that countries are allowed to wear a bracelet against discrimination. I don’t see the difference with this rainbow band. But apparently that was offensive nonetheless.
And no, the functioning of FIFA will not be questioned now. Those questions have of course always been there, because the allocation to Qatar was bathed in an atmosphere of corruption.
Gianni Infantino said he would make a more transparent FIFA, but this World Cup is a double thumbs-up from FIFA to the rest of the western world.
The hypocrisy of this decision is hallucinatory. Remember Infantino’s speech a few days ago.
The Emir also said that everyone was welcome. And 24 hours later they are not allowed to play with that bracelet.
But after this World Cup, FIFA will simply count its pennies and FIFA will remain deaf to the groans in the rest of the world.