World Cup 2022: England and Wales face fines for wearing ‘One Love’ armband to promote LGBTQ+ rights in Qatar

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The English Football Association (FA) says it is ready and willing to pay a fine for having its captain wear a ‘One Love’ armband at the World Cup in Qatar.

England were among 10 European nations to announce their intention to wear the armband in September – which Three Lions captain Harry Kane described as “a clear message” intended to be “against all forms of discrimination” – but FIFA still has to clarify whether they will allow the article. That’s not inconsiderable considering that more than one of the football associations that backed the plan originally put forward by the Dutch Football Association filed an application with world football’s governing body shortly after the announcement.

“They didn’t reply to our letter,” FA chief Mark Bullingham told Sky News. “I think there is a possibility that we will be fined. And if it does, we’ll pay the fine. We think it’s really important to show our values. And we will do that.”

The Wales national team, who start their tournament against the USA on Monday, also intends to wear the armband regardless of any sanctions. However, France captain Hugo Lloris hinted earlier this week that he would not don the kit without FIFA’s backing. “Before you do anything, you need FIFA’s approval, the federation’s approval,” said the goalkeeper. who said before his flight to Qatar that players should be allowed to focus on things on the pitch at the World Cup.

“I have my personal opinion on the matter, which is similar to that [French Football Federation] president [who said he would rather France were not wearing the armband]. When we are in France and welcoming foreigners, we often want them to follow our rules, respect our culture and I will do the same when I go to Qatar.”

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A total of eight teams competing in Qatar have announced that they will wear the armband. FIFA wrote to the competing nations ahead of the tournament, urging them to “get into football” in Qatar, a country where homosexuality is illegal and where activists estimate more than 6,500 workers died building the World Cup to focus,” a figure the organizers dispute.


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