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FIFA World Cup: European teams ditch 'OneLove' armband in Qatar, Twitter is furious

FIFA World Cup: European teams ditch 'OneLove' armband in Qatar, Twitter is furious

Wales said the countries involved had been prepared to pay fines that would normally apply to breaches of kit regulations, but sporting sanctions had been a step too far

England manager Gareth Southgate and captain Harry Kane during a press conference in Qatar England manager Gareth Southgate and captain Harry Kane during a press conference in Qatar

The captains of European football teams will not wear "OneLove" armbands during World Cup in Qatar after FIFA made it clear they would be booked, the associations said in a joint statement on Monday.

England, Wales, Belgium, the Netherlands, Switzerland, Germany and Denmark are the European teams playing at the World Cup in the Middle-Eastern nation.

"You don't want the captain to start the match with a yellow card. That is why it is with a heavy heart that we as a UEFA working group ... and as a team had to decide to abandon our plan," the Dutch football association KNVB said in a statement.

According to FIFA rules, team equipment must not have any political, religious or personal slogans, statements or images, and during FIFA Final Competitions, the captain of each team "must wear the captain's armband provided by FIFA".

The KNVB said FIFA had made it clear only hours before kick-off of their opening match against Senegal on Monday that captain Virgil van Dijk would get a yellow card if he walked on the pitch wearing the armband as planned.

The KNVB said it was "deeply disappointed" in FIFA's stance and would not let it pass unnoticed.

"This is completely against the spirit of our sport, which unites millions of people," the KNVB said in a statement.

Wales said the countries involved had been prepared to pay fines that would normally apply to breaches of kit regulations, but sporting sanctions had been a step too far.

"As national federations, we can’t put our players in a position where they could face sporting sanctions including bookings, so we have asked the captains not to attempt to wear the armbands in FIFA World Cup games."

Twitter users didn't take kindly to the about turn and slammed the teams

"The whole point of England & Wales wearing the One Love armband is to make a stand against injustice. By giving in because of the threat of a yellow card, the initial plan to wear the armband automatically becomes an entirely empty gesture," tweeted a user.

"Ridiculous that England made such a fuss about wearing virtue-signalling armbands at this World Cup. Even more ridiculous they've now been bullied into not wearing them. If you're going to virtue-signal, at least have the guts to stick to your supposed principles," tweeted famous UK TV anchor Piers Morgan.

"The idea that FIFA will tell refs to book players for wearing a rainbow armband is ridiculous even for FIFA and the Ridiculous Even For FIFA bar is one that is very rarely cleared," tweeted another user.

ALSO READ: FIFA chief says fans can 'survive' without beer for 3 hrs amid ban

Published on: Nov 21, 2022, 4:34 PM IST
Posted by: Jamma Jagannath, Nov 21, 2022, 4:26 PM IST