Seven European teams have decided that they will not wear rainbow themed armbands at the World Cup in an effort to avoid disciplinary action from FIFA. In a joint statement, the seven teams said,
“FIFA has been very clear that it will impose sporting sanctions if our captains wear the armbands on the field of play.”
England, Wales, Belgium, Denmark, Germany, the Netherlands and Switzerland said they will not put their players in a position to get sanctioned.
The armbands were created to show support of LGBTQ.
Belgium, one of the teams, has also said that their rainbow-tinged second kit with the word “Love” on the collar has also been banned by the governing body.
Under its rules, players wearing items on their clothing that is not authorized by FIFA can result in a yellow card. If any player is presented with a second yellow card, they would be removed from the game.
England’s coach Gareth Southgate said the issue has become a distraction,
“I actually understand FIFA’s point. If you don’t draw a line it sets a precedent.”
Netherlands manager Louis van Gaal said he was done with the subject saying the focus should be on the game, not politics, “Actually I no longer want to answer political questions. This is the time to talk only about football, but one thing is clear: we are not going to wear the armband if we are going to get a yellow card.”