England, the Netherlands, Belgium, Denmark, Germany, Switzerland and Wales were ready to participate in the “OneLove” campaign and oppose discrimination.
But those countries’ associations said in a statement on Monday that Qatar could not wear the heart-striped heart shield in different colors to represent all traditions, backgrounds, genders and sexual identities.
“FIFA [football’s global governing body] It has been made very clear that if our captains wear the armband on the field, it will result in game sanctions,” the joint statement said.
“As national federations, we cannot put our players in a position where they could face in-game bans, including bookings, so we have asked captains not to try to wear armbands in FIFA World Cup games.”
“We were prepared to pay fines for breaches of kit regulations in general and had a strong commitment to wearing the armband. However, we cannot put our players in a situation where they may be booked or have to leave the ground,” the statement added.
The decision not to display the armband in Qatar comes just hours before England’s opener against Iran, while Wales face the United States and the Netherlands take on Senegal on Monday.
The nations said they were “disappointed” by what they described as an “unprecedented” decision by FIFA.
“We sent a letter to FIFA in September saying we wanted to wear the One Love armband to actively support inclusion in football, and have had no response. Our players and coaches are disappointed – they are strong supporters of inclusion and will show support in other ways,” the statement continued.
France have been part of the pre-season campaign, but last week captain Hugo Lloris told reporters he would “respect” the local culture during the tournament.
Meanwhile, the Netherlands Football Association said on Monday that captain Virgil van Dijk was “deeply disappointed” to receive a yellow card for wearing an armband on the pitch.
In the build-up to the World Cup, Qatar – where Homosexuality is illegal and punishable by up to three years in prison – has come under fire for its stance on LGBTQ rights.
A Human Rights Watch report released last month documented cases of Qatari security forces arbitrarily arresting LGBT people and subjecting them to “mistreatment in detention” as far back as September.
However, the country insisted that “everyone is welcome” in the race, saying in a statement to CNN this month that “our track record shows that we have warmly welcomed all people, regardless of background.”
A statement sent to CNN last week on behalf of the Supreme Committee for Delivery & Legacy (SC), responsible for overseeing infrastructure projects and planning for the World Cup since its inception in 2011, called for “an inclusive and non-discriminatory” World Cup, hundreds of international and regional sports since the World Cup was awarded in 2010. Indicates that the country hosted the events.
Before the nations announced their captains would not wear the armband in Qatar, FIFA launched its own “No Discrimination” campaign and said all 32 captains would have the opportunity to wear the armband linked to the campaign.
“I have been talking to the people of the country about this matter [Qatar] The highest leadership,” said the FIFA president Gianni Infantino At a press conference on Saturday.
“They have confirmed that they are all welcome, I can confirm. If anyone says otherwise, it is not the opinion of the country and it is certainly not the opinion of FIFA,” he said.
But the Football Supporters’ Association, the representative body for football supporters in England and Wales, said it “feels betrayed” by FIFA’s decision to sanction players for wearing the “OneLove” armband.
“Since 2010 we have been raising questions about Qatar’s eligibility to host the World Cup,” the FSA’s statement said.
“Everybody could see it coming, it’s amazing, on the morning of England’s World Cup opener, FIFA players are censoring … wanting to share a positive message.”
Meanwhile, Amnesty International’s head of economic and social justice, Steve Cockburn, pointed out that “agreements on shields and better protections for LGBT communities should have been reached long ago”.
Qatar has dismissed the ‘OneLove’ armband controversy as a matter between FIFA and international teams, reiterating that “everyone is welcome” regardless of “orientation”.
“Everything that happens on the pitch is a FIFA matter,” SC spokeswoman Fatma Al Nuaimi told CNN’s Becky Anderson in Doha.
“There’s nothing to comment on, I think it’s between the teams and FIFA,” Al Nuaimi said.
Al Nuimi said the World Cup was a platform for the people in response to players showing forms of protest, including England’s kneeling in Qatar 2022 and Iran’s players choosing not to sing the national anthem in protest of their country. To express their “values and beliefs”.