Doha – England, Germany and five other European teams at the World Cup on Monday abandoned plans to wear a rainbow-themed armband in support of LGBTQ rights, citing the threat of disciplinary action from Fifa.
"Fifa has been very clear that it will impose sporting sanctions if our captains wear the armbands on the field of play," they said in a joint statement.
Under Fifa rules, players wearing kit that is not authorised by football's world governing body could be shown a yellow card.
🚨 BREAKING 🚨
England & Wales decide not to wear "one love" armband after FIFA's warnings pic.twitter.com/3GDMNOcrlL
— Football Daily (@footballdaily) November 21, 2022
If that player was then shown a second yellow card, they would be sent off.
The "OneLove" armband due to be warn by the likes of England captain Harry Kane and Germany counterpart Manuel Neuer is designed as part of a campaign to promote inclusivity.
The armbands had widely been viewed as a protest against laws in host nation Qatar, where homosexuality is illegal.
"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," the federations of England, Wales, Belgium, Denmark, Germany, the Netherlands and Switzerland said.
England take on Iran in their opening World Cup game 3pm today.