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Rainbow Armbands Are New Flash Point for FIFA and Qatar World Cup

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nytimes.com

LONDON — FIFA and World Cup organizers came under pressure on Wednesday from a group of European soccer federations who said they planned to have their captains wear armbands with a rainbow heart design as part of an anti-discrimination campaign during international matches and at the 2022 World Cup in Qatar.

The group of European soccer federations, which includes the World Cup contenders England, Germany and France, joined forces on Wednesday in announcing their intention to have their captains wear the armbands, which feature a so-called One Love design that is similar in design — but not identical — to the well-known Pride flag that serves as a symbol for the gay rights movement.

The Dutch soccer federation, which has played a leading role in the campaign, said eight European teams that have qualified for Qatar would take part, and that two others would wear the armbands in coming national team matches in a European competition, the Nations League.

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