The captains of several European teams will not wear the “OneLove” logo at the World Cup in Qatar due to yellow cards.
England, the Netherlands, Belgium, Denmark, Germany, Switzerland and Wales are set to join the “OneLove” campaign to promote inclusion and challenge discrimination.
But those countries’ associations said in a statement on Monday that the crab-heart logo band, which represents all heritages, backgrounds, genders and gender identities, will not be worn in Qatar.
“FIFA [football’s global governing body] “It is clear that if our captains wear the armbands on the field of play, they will incur an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty,” the joint statement said.
“As national federations, we cannot put our players in a situation where they could face a sporting penalty, including a yellow card, so we have asked the captains not to try wearing armbands at FIFA World Cup matches.”
“We are prepared to pay fines for standard kit rule violations and have a firm commitment to wearing the armband. However, we cannot allow our players to receive a yellow card or even leave the field of play,” the statement added.
The decision not to display the armband in Qatar comes hours before England’s opener against Iran, with Wales playing Senegal after the USA and Netherlands on Monday.
The countries said they were disappointed by the “unprecedented FIFA” decision to punish their captains for wearing the logo.
“We wrote to FIFA in September about our desire to wear the One Love logo to actively support inclusion in football and have had no response. Our players and coaches are disappointed – they are strong supporters of inclusion and show support in other ways.”
France have been part of a long campaign this season but last week captain Hugo Lloris told reporters he would “respect” the local culture during the tournament.
The Dutch Football Association said on Monday it was “deeply disappointed” that captain Virgil Van Dijk was yellow carded for wearing the armband on the pitch.
In the build-up to the World Cup, Qatar – where homosexuality is illegal and punishable by up to three years in prison – has come under fire for its stance on LGBTQ rights.
A Human Rights Watch report published last month documented recent cases of Qatari security forces arbitrarily arresting LGBT people and subjecting them to “mistreatment in custody.”
However, the country said “everyone is welcome” at the tournament, saying in a statement to CNN this month: “Our history shows that we have welcomed everyone, regardless of generation.”
In the year A statement sent to CNN last week on behalf of the Supreme Committee for Delivery and Legacy (SC), which has been responsible for overseeing infrastructure projects and planning for the World Cup since its inception in 2011, called for an “inclusive and discrimination-free” World Cup for the country in 2015.
At the same time, when countries announced that their captains would not wear the armband in Qatar, FIFA launched its own “No Discrimination” campaign and said all 32 captains had the opportunity to wear the armband associated with the campaign.
“I have spoken to the country about this issue [Qatar] FIFA president Gianni Infantino said in a press conference on Saturday.
“They made sure, and I made sure, that everyone is welcome. “If anyone says otherwise, it is not the opinion of the country and certainly not the opinion of FIFA,” he said.
But the Football Supporters’ Association, the national representative of England and Wales football fans, said it “feels betrayed” despite FIFA’s decision to fine the players for wearing the “One Love” logo.
“Since 2010, we have been raising questions about the suitability of Qatar as a World Cup host,” the FSA said in a statement.
“Everyone could see this coming and on the morning of England’s World Cup opener, it’s amazing that FIFA is censoring players who want to share a positive message.”