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Football

Belgium forced to change World Cup away kit last minute by FIFA for the most ridiculous reason

Ryan Sidle

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| Last updated 

Belgium forced to change World Cup away kit last minute by FIFA for the most ridiculous reason

Belgium have been forced to change their away kit for the World Cup, with FIFA clamping down on anything they see as political.

A group of teams at the World Cup were hoping to adorn their captains with the 'One Love' armband for games in Qatar, in support of LGBTQIA+ rights.

Those teams had written to FIFA some months ago asking if they were going to be allowed, with the world governing body taking their time to get back to them.

Finally it was revealed that Harry Kane and others would be booked if they decided to wear the armbands, putting them at risk of suspension from later group games.

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For England's first game, BBC pundit Alex Scott adorned the armband on the side of the pitch, possibly even risking being banned from grounds for future games.

Belgium were amongst the teams who wanted captain Eden Hazard to wear the armband for games, having done so in their pre tournament friendly with Egypt.

However, as well as Hazard not being allowed to wear it, the team have also been forced by FIFA to change their white away kit.

The word 'Love' was due to be embroidered on the collar but the Belgian FA have been told they have to remove it for the tournament, with FIFA telling everyone to focus on football but apparently not doing it themselves.

Belgium wore the kits in a warm up game vs Egypt. Image: Alamy
Belgium wore the kits in a warm up game vs Egypt. Image: Alamy

"We are frustrated with FIFA's decision, but we cannot put our players in positions where they can receive sporting sanctions," Dutch football CEO Peter Bossaert said.

"So that is why we asked them not to play with the 'OneLove' captain's armband at the World Cup.

"We were willing to pay fines, but we don't want to put our players at risk of getting a card or even having to leave the field.

"We had already informed FIFA in September of our desire to play with to play the armband, but there was never any response.

"We have been in solidarity with the participating countries all along by wearing the band. You can't just break that solidarity now.

"England was the first country to play after the sanction was announced. It is sportingly unfair to ask them to resist that pressure from FIFA."

On his team not being allowed to wear their kits, Bossaert said the decision was 'incomprehensible,' adding, "There was simply no consultation possible."

Kane did not wear the armband in England's opening win vs Iran. Image: Alamy
Kane did not wear the armband in England's opening win vs Iran. Image: Alamy

Ahead of the tournament, Hazard, who has not had a good couple of years at Real Madrid since his move from Chelsea was in positive mood about his own form.

The 31-year-old admitted he's not the player he was previously, but was certain he could still do 'great things' and have an impact in the Middle East.

Roberto Martinez's side kick off their tournament against Canada on Wednesday before facing Morocco on Sunday and Croatia the following Thursday.

Featured Image Credit: Alamy

Topics: Belgium, Eden Hazard, Football World Cup, FIFA

Ryan Sidle
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