As millions around the globe continue to enjoy the World Cup games, Qatar and FIFA are under pressure from the LGBTQ community after news broke out that any player wearing the “OneLove” armband would receive a yellow card.
The football governing body FIFA found itself at loggerheads with seven European nations over the threat of sanctions for any player wearing a “OneLove” armband during games. The armband which represents the inclusion of all people including those of different genders and sexual identities has caused a stir among certain parties.
Qatar, which has a low tolerance for the LGBTQ community and even has a penalty against those who practice homosexuality has been constantly attacked for its varied views surrounding the matter. Surprisingly, an event that should be about football and people enjoying the games has now been turned into a politically themed escape for the rainbow community.
The “OneLove” armband – which features the outline of a heart striped in different colours – was intended to be worn by captains from England, the Netherlands, Belgium, Denmark, Germany, Switzerland and Wales at the World Cup to promote inclusion and display solidarity with people of different genders and sexual identities.
However, despite the attention being thrown at the armband, most fans just want to enjoy their games as they get to see their countries take part in a historical world sport event that occurs once every few years. Most fans aren’t so much bothered about gender or sexual identities and just want to enjoy the Qatar World Cup and at the same time respect the country’s rules and culture.
FIFA said players sporting the ‘OneLove’ armband at World Cup would receive yellow cards
FIFA President Gianni Infantino pleaded with countries to let football take centre stage ahead of the World Cup in Qatar, but it turns out that fell on death-ears and now it has become another political issue not forgetting that the tournaments are happening in an Arab country that is Muslim-dominated.
Hours before England captain Harry Kane was scheduled to wear the armband against Iran on Monday, FIFA said any player wearing the armband would receive a yellow card, putting them in danger of being sent off or banned from a later game in the tournament.
FIFA regulations state that team captains must wear armbands provided by the governing body, even though it said it “supports all legitimate causes, such as ‘OneLove’ which caused a lot of confusion for the sides involved.
That stance was reinforced by Jakob Jensen, CEO of the Danish FA, who told CNN Connect the World this week that it’s “not the responsibility of the players to discuss human rights in Qatar or to discuss the decisions of FIFA. These fantastic football players in our team, they’ve been dreaming of the World Cup since they were little boys,” Jensen said.
“We do not want to take them off the pitch. We want the matches to be won on the pitch, not behind a desk. So that’s why we chose to do this.”
Qatar’s organizing committee, meanwhile, has previously promised to host “an inclusive and discriminatory-free” World Cup in the face of Western criticism regarding its anti-LGBTQ laws criticism.