Red Devils’ captain won’t be wearing OneLove armband after all

After first having threatened financial sanctions, World Football’s governing body FIFA has now also threatened to issue yellow cards to the captains of any teams competing at the World Cup that wear a OneLove armband. In what is another concession to the sensitivities of the host country Qatar, FIFA has taken what is described as an “unprecedented move” by threatening to sanction captains that wear OneLove armbands.

Not only the Belgian national team, but also the Dutch, the English and the Danes have said that their respective team captains will now not be wearing OneLove armbands. The threat of yellow cards being issued to captains that defy FIFA and upset the Qatari hosts was enough to convince the countries whose team captains were going to wear the armbands to change their minds.

FIFA's threats that are tantamount to blackmail have not been well-received by the European and British football associations. In a highly critical statement they said “As we previously said we would have been prepared to pay a fine, but FIFA saying that they would also sanction us on the pitch is unprecedented. This is against the spirit of our sport that connects millions of people. In the near future we, together with the other countries involved will examine our relationship with FIFA."

Meanwhile, “other ways of taking action” are being considered.

"We deeply regret that it has not been possible to reach a reasonable solution. We stand behind the OneLove message, but our first priority at the World Cup is to win games. This means that you don’t want your captain to start the game on a yellow card”. 

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