European teams drop pro-LGBTQ+ armbands at Qatar World Cup – POLITICO

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European teams drop pro-LGBTQ+ armbands at Qatar World Cup – POLITICO
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England captain Harry Kane will not wear a pro-LGBTQ+ armband on Monday in England’s opener against Iran at the 2022 World Cup in Qatar.

Along with six other European countries, England have scrapped plans for the captain to wear a ‘One Love’ armband due to the threat of ‘sporting sanctions’ from FIFA – likely yellow cards for offending players. Homosexuality is illegal in Qatar.

“We cannot put our players in the position where they could be warned or even forced off the field of play,” a joint said. statement football associations from England, Wales, Belgium, Denmark, Germany, the Netherlands and Switzerland. The group of teams added they were “very frustrated” after a letter sent to world football’s governing body FIFA in September advising of a wish to wear the armband went unanswered.

Over the weekend, the German and Danish teams had sworn their captains would wear the armband, but those countries have now reversed their position.

Qatar has faced criticism since winning the tournament in 2010 for its treatment of migrant workers, as well as its stance on the LGBTQ+ community and women’s rights.

The row of armbands follows further debate over Qatar’s strict World Cup rules, including a controversial last-minute decision to ban the sale of alcohol in match stadiums.

On Saturday, FIFA President Gianni Infantino blasted Western critics of Qatar’s hosting of the World Cup, accusing them of “hypocrisy” ahead of the start of the world soccer tournament.

Slamming criticism from FIFA and Qatar for the double standard, Infantino said: “I think for what we Europeans have done in the last 3,000 years in the world, we should apologize for the 3,000 next few years, before we start lecturing people in morality.”

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