Belgium have been told by FIFA to change their away shirt for the Qatar World Cup as it has the word ‘love’ on it.
The news comes on the same day that seven nations backed down in wearing One Love armbands after being threatened with sporting punishments by FIFA.
Belgium’s kit is not related to the One Love armband and was released in the summer as part of a collaboration with music festival Tomorrowland.
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It has the word ‘love’ on the back of the collar.
“The word love must disappear,” Peter Bossaert, CEO of the Belgian Football Association, told Nieuwsblad.
“It’s sad, but FIFA leaves us no choice. The rest of the equipment remains unchanged.”
It is reported by Nieuwsblad that Belgium will resolve the issue by putting a sticker over the word ‘love’.
Belgium are set to play their first group match against Canada on Wednesday.
Belgium were one of the seven nations, along with England and Wales, who had planned to wear One Love armbands.
However, they opted against it due to the threat of players being given yellow cards.
“Eden [Hazard, Belgium captain] will indeed not play with the One Love band”, said Bossaert.
“We can’t do anything else, because the penalties are disproportionate. We can’t risk Eden getting a yellow card before the game starts.
“We were prepared to pay high fines – and we also indicated this in our conversations with FIFA – but there was simply no consultation possible. That means that we cannot continue our action.”
Bossaert said he went to great lengths to try and get an answer on the One Love armband before it was decided that it would not be worn.
“That band is not a political statement. It is a call for more inclusiveness and a signal for diversity.
“Months ago we already tried to get in touch with FIFA – I travelled to Switzerland myself – but we never got a concrete answer. In recent days we have pressed even harder, because time was running out.
“We really went to great lengths to reach an agreement, until FIFA suddenly indicated that yellow cards would be handed out. The referees had already been instructed to give it if anyone wore that band. We wanted to defuse the situation, but we didn’t succeed.”
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