Josh Cavallo has slammed FIFA after it threatened teams with sanctions for wearing the OneLove armband. On 20 November, the Qatar World Cup officially commenced, with the first match taking place between the gulf region’s team and Ecuador.
In the months leading up to the tournament, captains from England, Denmark, Switzerland, Netherlands, and Germany football teams announced that they would be wearing the armband to support the LGBTQ+ community.
In Qatar, homosexuality is illegal and can be punished by penalties including flogging, imprisonment and even execution. However on 21 November, the teams announced that they would no longer be wearing the inclusive band in a joint statement. “FIFA has been very clear that it will impose sporting sanctions if our captains wear the armbands on the field of play,” the teams revealed. “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.” While the teams were willing to “pay fines”, they ultimately decided to opt out of the LGBTQ+ inclusive gesture because of the potential of players “being booked or even forced to leave the field of play.” Following their announcement, LGBTQ+ fans and activists have slammed FIFA for their threats, including openly gay footballer Cavallo. “I love my identity.
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