Fears World Cup captains including Gareth Bale will receive yellow cards for wearing ‘OneLove’ armband
There are fears that World Cup captains including Gareth Bale will receive yellow cards at the start of matches if they wear the ‘OneLove’ armband.
The captains of England, Germany, Holland, France, Belgium, Denmark and Switzerland are also due to wear the armbands – with England’s Harry Kane the canary in the coal mine as they will be kicking off first at 1pm today.
It raises the prospect that the captains could miss their final group game as a yellow card each over two matches would see them unable to play in the third.
The armband is designed to express solidarity with marginalised people, including the gay community which is criminalised in Qatar.
The different football associations, including the Welsh and English FA, are now holding talks to decide what to do. FIFA have yet to officially let them know what the punishment for wearing the armband would be.
Fifa has said in private that it has to approve any change to the equipment worn by the players on the pitch. On Saturday they launched alternative armbands with what it describes as messages of solidarity, but which do not include the LGBT flag.
In October The Football Association of Wales’ chief executive Noel Moone said they were willing to accept FIFA fines for wearing the anti-discrimination armband at the World Cup.
“We have put in a request to FIFA to wear the armband and we’re very comfortable with that,” Mooney told the PA news agency.
“The armband has Cymraeg (Welsh) on it as well as OneLove. Our view is that he (Bale) will be wearing it.”
Asked if the armband would be worn even if a fine was incurred, Mooney replied: “With pleasure. We’ve made our statement clear and we will live our values over there.
“We haven’t got an answer yet from FIFA, we’re waiting to see how that goes.”
The Netherlands captain Virgil van Dijk suggested on Saturday that he would go ahead and wear the armband but that a booking could make him reconsider wearing it in future games.
“I will wear the one love armband tomorrow,” he said. Nothing changed from our point of view.
“If I will get a yellow card for wearing it then we would have to discuss it because I don’t like to play while being on a yellow [card].”
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