England have been told by FIFA that ‘OneLove’ armbands will not be permitted during the World Cup as Harry Kane faces possible punishment if he chooses to wear the armband as a gesture of solidarity during the World Cup opener against Iran on Monday.
On the night of England’s World Cup opener against Iran, the controversial ‘OneLove’ armband story deteriorated into farce amid fears that captain Harry Kane could be booked if he wears it.
The Football Association, which confirmed that England’s players will kneel during the tournament, is adamant that captain Kane will wear the armband as a sign of equality at a tournament that has been overshadowed by criticism of Qatar’s human rights record. Homosexuality is illegal in the host country.
However, FA officials were anxious on Sunday night that Kane could be issued a yellow card if he wears the armband as planned, because doing so would violate FIFA’s regulations.
English football executives are seeking clarity from FIFA about the punishments that could be meted out if they follow through with their decision.
FIFA has strict standards surrounding the attire worn by players during matches, and Kane donning the armband would violate these rules.
The FA anticipated a fine for violating FIFA’s regulations, but the idea of Kane, probably England’s most valuable player, being booked and consequently facing a suspension was a scenario that caused them concern.
Kane said, “We have made it clear as a team, staff and organisation that we want to wear the armband. I know the FA are talking to FIFA and by game time they will have had their decision.”
Head coach Gareth Southgate added, “I know there are some conversations going on. A number of the European countries have spoken.”
“We have made our position clear, so hopefully everything will be resolved before the game.”
Although the new designs would include the heart from the OneLove armband it wouldn’t have the rainbow on and wouldn’t be associated with the LGBTQ+ community.
England will take the knee against Iran in order to raise awareness of the fight against racism.
Meanwhile, Netherlands captain Virgil van Dijk said his side would wear the OneLove armband, even if it resulted in punishment, with unconfirmed reports that captains could be booked after the first whistle if they wear it.