story

World Cup: European Teams Scrap "OneLove" Armbands

    World Cup: European Teams Scrap "OneLove" Armbands
    Last updated: 1 week ago
    Image credit: newsbud

    Facts

    • Seven European soccer associations have pulled out from plans to wear LGBTQ-supporting "OneLove" armbands at the FIFA World Cup in Qatar due to the threat of players receiving yellow cards. [1]
    • The soccer associations — England, Wales, Belgium, Denmark, Germany, The Netherlands, and Switzerland — stated that they weren't willing to risk "sporting sanctions" against their players, asserting that they were "very frustrated" by the decision. [2]
    • The OneLove armband is part of a campaign to promote inclusion and oppose discrimination. Teams hoped to wear them to show opposition against Qatar's stance on LGBTQ+ rights — homosexuality is illegal in Qatar. [3]
    • FIFA had announced at the start of the tournament that there would be seven different armbands for each round of the competition, each with various social messages. Since the announcement by the seven soccer federations, FIFA has announced that the "No Discrimination" armband — previously set to be available only at the quarterfinal stage — will be available during the entire tournament. [4]
    • LGBTQ+ groups and activists have condemned the decision by FIFA, with charity Stonewall accusing it of "brushing criticism of human rights abuses under the carpet." [5]
    • Show more

    Spin

    Establishment-critical narrative

    Allowing Qatar to host the World Cup was a shameful decision, and banning players from showing their support for a severely marginalized group only adds insult to injury. The competition and its stadiums stand on the bodies of thousands of migrant workers and those suffering under abject human rights abuses. This is a disgrace to sports, the LGBTQ community, and champions of human rights alike.

    Pro-establishment narrative

    Sports and politics shouldn't mix. While the World Cup has highlighted some ongoing issues within Qatar, Doha has done much to address these and the Arab World has every right to enjoy and take pride in the tournament. The World Cup belongs to the global community, offering a rare and important opportunity to foster a spirit of camaraderie through athletics.

    Cynical narrative

    The European football associations' cowardly U-turn only serves to highlight that they're far more interested in virtue-signaling than taking a decisive stance. It's easy to be a social justice warrior when one's own head isn't on the line.

    Articles on this story