England have confirmed they will not wear the One Love armband at the World Cup in Qatar after facing pressure from FIFA abandon their plans.
The armbands do not directly reference Qatar’s anti-LGBT laws but were designed in protest of any forms of homophobia – being homosexual is against the law in Qatar.
England were among seven nations to express a desire to wear the armband, even with FIFA threatening punishments, but the FA have now confirmed they will not be wearing it this winter.
“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,” a joint statement from the Football Associations of England, Wales, Belgium, Denmark, Germany, The Netherlands and Switzerland said.
“We are very frustrated by the FIFA decision which we believe is unprecedented – 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.”
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The nations had been prepared to “pay fines that would normally apply to breaches of kit regulations” but concerns that players could be booked each time they wear the armband had led to the abandomnent of the plans.
“[We] cannot put our players in the situation where they might be booked or even forced to leave the field of play,” the statement added.