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Mon. Dec 5th, 2022
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The ‘OneLove‘ armbands have been in the news ever since the 2022 FIFA World Cup kicked off on November 20. Once the captains of the European countries announced their decision to wear it, FIFA threatened to issue yellow cards to any player wearing it. The players have, thus, refrained from using it at the tournament in Qatar.
Here’s all you need to know about ‘OneLove’ armband controversy:
What the ‘OneLove’ armband is
To oppose all forms of discrimination, including sexual orientation, the Royal Dutch Football Association (KNVB) in 2020 launched the ‘OneLove’ armbands as part of its campaign promoting ‘inclusiveness’.
The band is designed in the shape of a heart. It has rainbow colours and number one in the middle, with ‘OneLove’ written on either side of it and the words ‘football connects’ below.

Who initially decided to wear it at the World Cup and why
The decision to wear the armband was taken as a mark of protest against the same-sex relationship laws prevailing in Qatar, which makes homosexuality illegal.
The captains of teams from the Netherlands, England, Switzerland, Belgium, Wales, Denmark and Germany had planned to wear the ‘OneLove’ armband.
Why the decision to wear the ‘OneLove’ armbands was withdrawn
FIFA rules stipulate that team equipment must not have any political, religious or personal slogans, statements or images. In addition, it mandates that at all FIFA Final Competitions, the captain of each team “must wear the captain’s armband provided by FIFA”.

In a joint statement, the football associations of countries planning on wearing the armband said FIFA had threatened to issue yellow cards to any player wearing it.
The FIFA World Cup organisers have repeatedly said that everyone, no matter their sexual orientation or background, is welcome during the tournament.
Nasser Al Khater, the chief executive of the 2022 World Cup, has said LGBTQ+ fans coming into the country would not have to worry about “persecution of any sort”, describing Qatar as a “tolerant country”.
The German team, however, chose a different way to show its protest.
While posing for the customary team photo before their opening match against Japan, the German players put their hands on their mouths.
The German football association then tweeted: “It wasn’t about making a political statement – human rights are non-negotiable. That should be taken for granted, but it still isn’t the case. That’s why this message is so important to us. Denying us the armband is the same as denying us a voice. We stand by our position.”

(With agency inputs)

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