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Sheffield United player 'becomes first Premier League captain in seven years' to not wear rainbow armband

Josh Lawless

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| Last updated 

Sheffield United player 'becomes first Premier League captain in seven years' to not wear rainbow armband

Sheffield United player Anel Ahmedhodzic did not wear the Premier League rainbow armband in Wednesday night's 2-0 loss to Liverpool.

The Blades were beaten at Bramall Lane courtesy of goals from Virgil van Dijk and Dominik Szoboszlai in what was Chris Wilder's first game of his second stint in charge.

Bosnia international Ahmedhodzic, who joined the club in 2022, assumed the captaincy in the absence of regular skipper John Egan and long-serving Chris Basham.

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But he appears to have become the first Premier League player in seven years to not wear the rainbow armband.

Instead, Ahmedhodzic wore the standard armband for the clash.

As part of the Rainbow Laces campaign, captains of all 20 Premier League clubs were required to wear an armband featuring traditional Pride colours in allocated matches.

The Premier League's official website stated: "Our clubs will come together between 2-7 December to celebrate Stonewall’s 2023/24 Rainbow Laces campaign and show support for all LGBT people in football and beyond."

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Image: Getty
Image: Getty

Liverpool and Netherlands captain Virgil van Dijk wore the armband, as did Manchester City's Kyle Walker and Manchester United's Bruno Fernandes.

On Saturday, Oliver Norwood wore the rainbow armband when he was skipper for United's 5-0 defeat to Burnley.

He was on the bench on Wednesday evening, meaning Ahmedhodzic got the nod.

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Image: Getty
Image: Getty

Wilder could not offer an explanation for why the former Nottingham Forest man wore the standard armband.

"I didn't know," he said in a press conference.

"It's not a club decision or a personal decision. I just didn't know he did that."

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Ahmedhodzic is a Bosnian Muslim but there are many examples of religious players wearing the rainbow armband.

Granit Xhaka, who is a Muslim and from a Kosovan family, has worn a rainbow armband when at Arsenal.

Image: Getty
Image: Getty

Mamadou Sakho, another Muslim, also wore it at Crystal Palace.

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At the last World Cup in Qatar, captains from seven nations, including England and Wales, were prohibited from wearing the 'One Love' rainbow armbands.

Former England and Arsenal footballer Alex Scott wore it as a statement on a BBC broadcast.

A Sheffield United spokesperson told SPORTbible: "Sheffield United remains proud to continue to support the Rainbow Laces campaign and play a key part in ensuring our LGBTQ+ supporters feel welcome and included at Bramall Lane.

"In partnership with Stonewall, the Premier League and EFL support the campaign each year with set dates for activation.

"Football clubs across the country celebrate the campaign and show support for LGBTQ+ people in numerous ways.

"This year, at the fixture against Liverpool, Sheffield United marked the campaign by including rainbow corner flags, dugouts adorning rainbow coloured sponsorships, LED and big screen messages.

"It was our understanding that clubs could make their own decision with regards to how to support the campaign.

"In addition, we work closely with the Rainbow Blades and have done so since their inception and will continue to support future campaigns and initiatives."

Featured Image Credit: Getty

Topics: Sheffield United, Premier League

Josh Lawless
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