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FIFA World Cup 2022: What is ‘OneLove’ armband and why players can’t wear it in Qatar?

Captains of many European teams were to wear a ‘OneLove’ armband which was again banned by FIFA, giving rise to a new controversy.

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New Delhi: The ongoing FIFA World Cup is running in the backdrop of politics, be it the human rights issue, exploitation of workers in making the stadiums or no rights for the LGBTQIA+ community in the host nation Qatar. The discriminatory politics and the alcohol ban in the stadiums have created controversy in the tournament. Captains of many European teams were to wear a ‘OneLove’ armband which was again banned by FIFA, giving rise to a new controversy.

What is the ‘OneLove’ armband?

Alex Scott

Ten European nations took a decision to wear an ‘anti-discrimination’ armband to spread the message of inclusivity through the sport. In contrast, Qatar is known for its human right violation. England, Germany, Wales, Belgium, Switzerland, Netherlands, France, Norway, Sweden and Denmark were the nations behind this initiative. It is an armband with six colours in a heart-shaped figure. In the band, the red, black and green represent all, regardless of heritage or background while the pink, yellow and blue colours represent all gender and sexual identities. The initiative was also backed by UEFA.

What is the controversy?

germany protest

Same-sex relationships are illegal in Qatar and an armband similar to rainbow coloured used for LGBTQIA+ triggered the ban. There were rumours that the captains wearing the ‘OneLove’ armband might get a yellow card. However, the protest and the belief in inclusiveness did not stop there. The English captain Harry Kane and German captain and goalkeeper Manuel Neuner wore a FIFA-approved ‘No Discrimination’ armband. The German team also covered their mouths with their hands to take a stand against the authorities from stopping their skipper from wearing the ‘OneLove’ armband. BBC presenter Alex Scott wore a ‘OneLove’ band in Qatar.

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