The One Love armband row took another turn on Wednesday after politicians from Belgium and Germany were pictured wearing the rainbow-themed band in conversation with FIFA president Gianni Infantino.
The row has threatened to overshadow the World Cup in Qatar after seven European nations, including England and Wales, abandoned their plans to wear the inclusive armband amid threats of disciplinary action from FIFA. Germany’s players warmed up in training shirts with rainbow-coloured sleeves and covered their mouths in protest ahead of their shock 2-1 defeat to Japan on Wednesday.
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After the picture was taken, the team put out a message on social media which said: “Denying us the armband is the same as denying us a voice. We stand by our position.”
The country’s interior minister Nancy Faeser also wore the armband in the stands next to Infantino. The Germany FA are taking legal steps against world football’s governing body and the decision could be taken to the Court of Arbitration for Sport.
DFB spokesman Steffen Simon said: “FIFA has banned us from showing a symbol of diversity and human rights.
“They combined this ban with massive threats of sporting sanctions without specifying them. The DFB is checking whether this action by FIFA was legal.”
FIFA president Gianni Infantino with Nancy Faeser, who is wearing the One Love armband
Image credit: Getty Images
Now footage has emerged of Belgium foreign minister Hadja Lahbib in animated discussion with Infantino, clearly pointing at the armband, during her nation’s 1-0 win over Canada. The pair shook hands during the conversation. ITV pundits Roy Keane and Ian Wright have urged captains to wear the armband despite the threat of yellow cards.
“I think they can do a lot more,” Keane said.
“They’ve been silenced, by who? Use their voice, wear the armband. It’s about leadership, it’s about action. It’s a gesture, it’s a start, and they can do more.”
Belgium have also been told by FIFA to change their away shirt for the Qatar World Cup as it has the word ‘love’ on it.
The kit is not related to the One Love movement and was released in the summer as part of a collaboration with music festival Tomorrowland.
It has the word ‘love’ on the back of the collar.
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