Wales wont wear anti-discrimination armband at World Cup after FIFA threaten ‘sporting sanctions’
Wales will not wear an anti-discrimination armband in their World Cup match against the USA on Monday after FIFA threatened them with sporting sanctions.
A joint statement from seven European nations who had signed up to the ‘One Love’ campaign – which included Wales and England – confirmed they had asked for the armbands to no longer be worn.
“FIFA has been very clear that it will impose sporting sanctions if our captains wear the armbands on the field of play,” the statement began.
“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.”
Wales skipper Gareth Bale was due to wear the OneLove armband in the match against the United States later in the evening.
The band contains the rainbow colours associated with the Pride flag and had been set to be a strong statement in Qatar, a country which criminalises same-sex relationships.
We’re frustrated. We’re disappointed.
But we remain with the belief that football is for everyone and stand with our LGBTQ+ members of the Welsh football family.
Mae pêl-droed i bawb. #ArBenYByd | #TogetherStronger pic.twitter.com/mndsOmYn6p
— FA WALES (@FAWales) November 21, 2022
The statement continued: “We were prepared to pay fines that would normally apply to breaches of kit regulations and had a strong commitment to wearing the armband. However, we cannot put our players in the situation where they might be booked or even forced to leave the field of play.
“We are very frustrated by the FIFA decision which we believe is unprecedented – we wrote to FIFA in September informing them of our wish to wear the One Love armband to actively support inclusion in football, and had no response.
“Our players and coaches are disappointed – they are strong supporters of inclusion and will show support in other ways.”
FIFA announced on Saturday its own plans for an armband to highlight a series of social campaigns at each stage of the tournament.
‘No discrimination’ had been due to be the theme for the quarter-finals but the global governing body confirmed on Monday, within seconds of the joint FAs’ release, that it had been brought forward.
The statement also reminded teams that “For FIFA Final Competitions, the captain of each team must wear the captain’s armband provided by FIFA.”
The FIFA statement added: “FIFA is an inclusive organisation that wants to put football to the benefit of society by supporting good and legitimate causes, but it has to be done within the framework of the competition regulations which are known to everyone.”
The Football Supporters’ Association issued a scathing response.
“To paraphrase FIFA president Gianni Infantino – today LGBT+ football supporters and their allies will feel angry. Today we feel betrayed,” it read.
“Today we feel contempt for an organisation that has shown its true values by giving the yellow card to players and the red card to tolerance.
“Never again should a World Cup be handed out solely on the basis of money and infrastructure. No country which falls short on LGBT+ rights, women’s rights, workers’ rights or any other universal human right should be given the honour of hosting a World Cup.”
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As its Cymru’s first World Cup in 64 years, its too much to ask them to accept the punishment. Well done Gareth Bale for your wise leadership.
But shame on England. They’ve just proven how they don’t care about human rights or LGBT people. They only care about money. Shame on them.
Not sure why it’s different for England or the other five teams? Ultimately this is a threat from FIFA. They are the one’s who look like an organisation scared to upset their paymasters.
England frequently qualify for tournaments. It’s not a big deal if they go out, so they should take a stand. The fact they aren’t taking a stand is shameful, buy typically English. Arrogance and hypocrisy.
Nah sorry. Even if it’s the first WC in 64 years, you stand by your beliefs.
They are only footballers so I don’t blame them that they wussed out like big scaredy cats. But I will be disappointed in them that they are only activists when it’s not inconvenient.
On this you can’t shame England and Excuse Cymru. Either both are wusses who folded under the pressure or neither are.
If Europe stood together, FIFA would fold. Europe FUNDS the game. The dictatorships who give out the bribes only fund the fifa crooks in charge.
FIFA is acting like a dictater here in the fear of upsetting a host nation it knew full well had humanitarian and discrimination issues in 2010. Future host selection should not be dominated by how much cash is bunged.
I read the comments under that linked Twitter post. People aren’t happy. After a brilliant build-up this has really ruined the atmosphere.
Ry’n ni yma o hyd. ar wahân i’r hoywon.
FIFA have painted themselves into a corner. Far better if they’d ignored the intentions. They’re in charge and if the hosts objected, FIFA could respond by saying it was not in their sphere of influence. Now, it’s squarely, and rightly so on FIFA’s doorstep.
Infantino = Infantile
Just in case the Red Wall need a new chorus;
If Bale was given a yellow card for wearing the band and a second yellow for not removing it we lose our captain for the whole tournament. FIFA have gone totally overboard threatening footballing sanctions on political grounds and have actually raised the issues to a far higher profile than just ignoring it all.
Listen, as much as equality is an important part of western values. We mustn’t fail to realise it took us thousands of years to get to the point we have. We can’t expect those who are still going through such changes to just accept Western ideals so quick and without pushback. It’s about dialogue, not demonisation!
Nonsense – it wasnt ‘dialogue’ that got rid of apartheid in south africa! It was international protests (and sanctions – economic and cultural).
They promised to make concessions. They broke ALL those promises.
Don’t make excuses and allowances for liars and bigots.
Also Arabia was and advanced civilisation when we were still in mud huts. They got knocked back due to religion. But so did we, and we made progress. Inertia is no excuse
Lloris did it best
The Saxon suck-up Gerald of Wales wrote this about us:-
“Although beaten today and shamefully put to flight with much slaughter, tomorrow they march out again, no whit dejected by their defeat or their losses. They may not shine in open combat and in fixed formation, but they harass their enemy by ambushes and night-attacks. In a single battle they are easily beaten, but they are difficult to conquer in a long war, for they are not troubled by hunger or cold, fighting does not seem to tire them.”
If only the English had a yellow card eh?
Truth hurts apparently. Your downvote is as worthless as a Qatari’s promise. Or a Football association’s “values”
As if all the corruption within FIFA that saw the Qatari dictatorship get the wc in the first place wasnt bad enough FIFA has probably now sunk even lower in effectively blackmailing players. Remember that UEFA had no problem with players wearing these armbands during the recent nations lge. Its clear that the ally of tyrants and bigots that is FIFA cannot be reformed and that all those countries around the world that take human rights seriously should quit this monstrous organisation and establish a new international football federation (FIFA’s ‘world cup’ without the european nations would be worthless).
Agreed and the only other talented continent, South America, has most of its top talent playing in Europe.
Qatar owes UK £1 billion. So … Rishi Rich, Chunt, go get it. Or do YOU have shady deals with these crooks too?