England and other nations could be banned from wearing the OneLove armband at the World Cup
| Last updated
The armbands, which are a symbol of support for anti-discrimination and help promote diversity and inclusion, have not yet been given the necessary approval by FIFA ahead of the tournament in Qatar, a country where same-sex relationships are criminalised.
Despite permission being granted by UEFA for the latest round of Nations League fixtures, the green light must still be given for the armbands to be worn at any FIFA competition.
England have already written a letter of request to football’s world governing body, while nine other nations, including Germany, France and Wales, also plan to support the OneLove campaign, which was started by the Netherlands prior to Euro 2020.
The Gulf State are already said to be “deeply unimpressed” at having not been consulted over the armbands when, in 2018, the FA signed a memorandum of understanding with the Qatar Football Association.
Should permission ultimately be denied, it could mean that team captains are forbidden from wearing the armbands during the finals. They could even be banned from the tournament, although this outcome has been deemed “highly unlikely”.
England skipper Harry Kane, who will don the OneLove armband when England take on Italy in Milan on Friday, remained steadfast in his support of the initiative.
“I am honoured to join my fellow national team captains in supporting the important OneLove campaign,” he said.
“As captains we may all be competing against each other on the pitch, but we stand together against all forms of discrimination. This is even more relevant at a time when division is common in society.”
With the World Cup less than two months away, it is believed Qatar will now consult with FIFA over the next steps.