The day after the start of the controversial FIFA World Cup in Qatar, several European teams announced on Monday, November 21, that they were giving up wearing a “One Love” armband adorned with a multicolored heart. A sign that was intended to support LGBT + people and other minorities whose rights are not recognized in the emirate.
The initiative proposed by the Dutch federation at the beginning of September will therefore not be followed. A setback that comes after Fifa forbade them, Sunday, November 19, preferring to the multicolored armband slogans like “Football unites the world », “save the planet” or “protect the children”.
A ” Good choice “ according to Noël Le Graët, president of the French Football Federation (FFF), whose players had initially planned to wear the armband before backtracking. Hugo Lloris, the tricolor captain, again assured Monday that he would follow the recommendation of the international federation, preferring ” stay “ in his ” frame “, “that of player and competitor”.
Several team captains, including that of England which begins its competition against Iran on Monday, Harry Kane, or the Dutchman Virgil van Dijk, had however reaffirmed Monday morning their desire to display this symbol of inclusion and of diversity. The captain of the German team, Manuel Neuer, had even assured to be “willing to pay fines”, financial sanctions having been brandished by Fifa.
This was without counting the announcement of sporting sanctions. Captains who wear the armband would be penalized with a yellow card, threatened the institution that governs world football. A measure that decided the seven refractory to give up.
“As national federations, we cannot ask our players to risk sporting sanctions, including yellow cardswrote the federations of the seven countries in a joint press release published on Monday. We were ready to pay fines (…) but we cannot put our players in the situation where they could be warned, or even have to leave the field. »
FIFA assured that its official armbands would be flocked with the message “No to discrimination”its president Gianni Infantino assuring that ” Everyone is welcome “ in the country.
Jerseys sold at auction
Other teams have carried out their own “initiatives” to support minorities or immigrant workers, on the margins. The German team, for example, made the trip to Qatar with a plane bearing the slogan “Diversity wins”. On the American side, the Football Federation has replaced the colors of its logo with those of the rainbow, in support of LGBT + people whose rights are violated in Qatar.
In the Netherlands, the jerseys of players worn during the World Cup will be auctioned off and the proceeds will be used to help the families of migrant workers who died on stadium construction sites. As for Denmark, the leaders have given up sending an official representation of the government or the royal family to Qatar. The Danish players wanted to go further, wearing a flocked jersey with the inscription “human rights for all” but Fifa rejected their request.
Failing to defend the “One Love” armband, the Blues have committed themselves to “support NGOs that work for the protection of human rights”. They will feed, for an unspecified amount, the Génération 2018 endowment fund created by the world champions in order to finance social actions.