England and Wales are among nations considering pushing ahead with plans to wear a ‘OneLove’ armband at the World Cup after a late threat of sporting sanctions from FIFA.
England’s Harry Kane and Wales’ Gareth Bale are among captains of nine European countries considering wearing the rainbow armbands in Qatar, where same-sex relationships are criminalized.
The armband, a multicolored design with the words “OneLove” and a number 1 inside a heart, aims to promote diversity and inclusion.
But FIFA are now warning that wearing it could result in a yellow card for the respective captains and have launched their own armband initiative which promotes social messaging.
The English FA are prepared to be fined for the issue, but the risk of sporting sanctions against a player may mean they must now abandon plans to do so.
The FA is seeking clarification from football’s world governing body on the matter before making a final decision ahead of Monday’s Group B opener against Iran.
Speaking on Sunday, Kane said he was preparing to wear the armband. Dutch captain Virgil van Dijk and German captain Manuel Neuer have also claimed they plan to wear it.
Kane said: “I think we’ve made it clear as a team, staff and organization that we want to wear the armband.
“I know the FA are talking to FIFA at the moment, and I’m sure by tomorrow’s game they will have their decision. But, yes, I think we’ve made it clear that we want to wear it.
Asked about his opinion given the apparent threat of a yellow card, boss Gareth Southgate added: “I can’t add anything to what Harry has said.
“I know there are ongoing conversations. I think a number of European countries have spoken.
“We have clarified our position, so hopefully everything will be resolved before the game.”
Wales captain Bale, whose side will face USA on Monday, said: “For us as players we are all behind it and supporting whatever we can do. As footballers, the best we can do is raise awareness and it’s up to the top people to hopefully bring about change for the better. We support everything armband-wise and will do everything we can to hopefully get changes in the right way.
Meanwhile, Dutch captain Van Dijk has said he also plans to wear the armband against Senegal on Monday in their Group A clash, but admitted he may have to change his stance if FIFA follow through. his threat of sanctions.
“I will be wearing the OneLove armband tomorrow,” said the Liverpool star.
“Nothing has changed from our point of view. If I get a yellow card for wearing it, we’ll have to discuss it because I don’t like playing while on a yellow.
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