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Football

Openly gay footballer Josh Cavallo unloads on FIFA's decision to ban 'One Love' armbands

Jayden Collins

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Openly gay footballer Josh Cavallo unloads on FIFA's decision to ban 'One Love' armbands

Openly gay footballer Josh Cavallo has ripped into FIFA over its threat to penalise World Cup teams who wear rainbow-themed ‘One Love’ armbands.

While teams such as England have worn the armbands many times in the past, they have been viewed as a means of symbolic protest laws in Qatar.

Homosexuality is currently illegal in the nation.

Seven European teams, including England, Germany, and Wales, had planned on wearing the rainbow armbands, however, abandoned those plans after football’s governing body decided they would punish them with yellow cards.

Adelaide United’s Cavallo, who came out in 2021 and is the only openly gay footballer playing in a top-flight league slammed the decision.

He said on Instagram: “FIFA have banned all teams to wear the One Love Armband to actively support LGBTQ+ at the World Cup. FIFA, you have lost my respect.

“I love my identity.

“All the work my fellow allies and the LGBTQ+ community are doing to make football inclusive, you have shown that football isn’t a place for everyone.”

The 23-year-old earned praise across the football world for his courage in coming out publicly.

He took issue with FIFA President Gianni Infantino’s pleas to World Cup teams to ‘focus on football’ rather than politics.

Cavallo took to Twitter to slam the comments, saying: “It’s not the first time we’ve heard ‘Stick to football’.

“The attacks on the LGBTQ+ community from World Cup leaders affects so many who live in silence because of your draconian ways.

“To be a great leader in sport, one must never give up trying to bring ALL people together.”

It isn’t just the players who are suffering the consequences of planning ot wear the ‘One Love’ armband.

A reporter from Danish broadcaster TV2 was asked to remove his 'One Love' armband by Qatari police while covering the World Cup.

A member of the Qatari Traffic Unit attempts to put his hand over the camera as the reporter tells another official: "This is just colours. I know you have to tell me... what should I do?"

What was said in response isn't audible in the clip, which sees the journalist reply: "Who told you that I can't have it on? Ok can I take it in because I have to show it. If it's just in my hand maybe?"

Following another conversation, he states: "Listen, I respect that. I cannot take it off."

While pointing to his arm, he asks: "Why is this not allowed? Is it because of the colours? But this just says 'One Love'. It's respecting everybody."

BBC Sport pundit Alex Scott received praise on Monday for wearing the armband during the channel's coverage of England's 6-2 victory over Iran.

Featured Image Credit: joshua.cavallo/Instagram. Sipa US / Alamy.

Topics: Australia, Football, Qatar, Football World Cup

Jayden Collins
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