England captain Harry Kane told not to wear LGBT+ armband during Qatar World Cup
The FA told Harry Kane not to wear an armband expressing solidarity with LGBT+ people during World Cup games.
The England captain was due to wear the ‘OneLove’ armband throughout the tournament in Qatar, a country where same-sex relationships are criminalised.
Hours away from England’s first game, the English FA and the football associations of five other nations said they would ask their captains not to wear the armband amid a threat of yellow cards.
Wales’ leader Gareth Bale was among the players that received the request too.
A joint statement from the six football associations, issued on Monday morning, said: “FIFA has been very clear that it will impose sporting sanctions if our captains wear the armbands on the field of play.
“As national federations, we can’t put our players in a position where they could face sporting sanctions including bookings, so we have asked the captains not to attempt to wear the armbands in FIFA World Cup games.”
The associations said they were “very frustrated” with FIFA and were previously prepared be fined for the armbands.
“We wrote to FIFA in September informing them of our wish to wear the One Love armband to actively support inclusion in football and had no response,” the statement finished.
Controversy has surrounded the build-up to the tournament, with the Gulf state’s record on human rights and treatment of migrant workers under scrutiny.
Several LGBT+ supporters have opted not to travel to the gulf state where homosexuality is still illegal.
England players faced calls to use their games to raise awareness of anti-government protests in Iran.
These were sparked by the death of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini, who had been detained by police in the capital, Tehran, for allegedly not adhering to the country’s strict Islamic dress code.