England are among a host of nations that have backed down from their decision to wear OneLove armbands at the World Cup, over the threat of possible sporting sanctions.
The Three Lions, who kick off their campaign against Iran later today, had reiterated their stance to allow Harry Kane to wear the armband in support of LGBTQ+ communities, with homosexuality illegal in Qatar.
They were to be joined by several other nations, with Germany, Wales and the Netherlands all among those set to follow in the footsteps set by the FA. This was despite fears that they would be hit with a fine by FIFA, who have banned nations from wearing it.
However, there were added fears that those wearing it could be booked as soon as the game started for their show of support, which would of course threaten the chances of the Nation’s success at the tournament.
For instance, had it been the case, Kane would have seen yellow against Iran and the USA, leaving him suspended for the final group game against Wales.
A statement from the FA confirmed the news, explaining “FIFA has been very clear that it will impose sporting sanctions if our captains wear the armbands on the field of play.
“As national federations, we can’t put our players in a position where they could face sporting sanctions including bookings, so we have asked the captains not to attempt to wear the armbands in FIFA World Cup games.
“We were prepared to pay fines that would normally apply to breaches of kit regulations and had a strong commitment to wearing the armband. However we cannot put our players in the situation where they might be booked or even forced to leave the field of play.
“We are very frustrated by the FIFA decision which we believe is unprecedented — we wrote to FIFA in September informing them of our wish to wear the One Love armband to actively support inclusion in football, and had no response.
“Our players and coaches are disappointed — they are strong supporters of inclusion and will show support in other ways.”
England will continue to take the knee in an anti-racism gesture.