Harry Kane said he was “disappointed” not to wear the One Love armband during England’s 6-2 victory over Iran at the Qatar World Cup.
England were one of the seven nations who had planned to wear the armband during matches at the tournament to promote diversity and inclusion.
However, they decided not to due to the threat of players being booked.
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The decision was made less than 24 hours before England’s first game against Iran.
“We’re disappointed,” Kane said.
“I said yesterday we wanted to wear it. That decision was taken out of my hands today.
“I turned up to the stadium with the armband that I wore and I was told I had to wear that [the official FIFA one].
“It’s out of our control as players. I’m sure the FA and FIFA will continue those discussions but most importantly today we focused on the game and got a great result.”
England will continue to do their best to speak out against injustice, said Kane after the Three Lions took the knee before facing Iran.
“You’ve seen over the last five years we’ve made a stand as a squad, and we’ll continue to do that as much as we can,” he said.
“We took the knee today as well but sometimes these decisions aren’t up to us and that’s the bottom line.”
The decision was criticised by former England captain Rio Ferdinand, who said the FA “folded like a pack of cards”.
England captain Harry Kane adjusts his captain’s armband against Iran
Image credit: Getty Images
Roy Keane also said England made a “big mistake” by not wearing the armband.
Instead of the One Love armband, which included a ‘heart containing colours representative of all backgrounds’, England captain Kane instead wore FIFA’s ‘No Discrimination’ armband against Iran.
Speaking after the victory, England manager Gareth Southgate said: “The armband, it’s not something the players or myself have been involved with over the last 24 hours.
“Those discussions have been ongoing between several European nations and FIFA.
“I actually do understand FIFA’s situation, in that you could set a precedent, and it’s very difficult then over where do you draw the line.
“I think in an ideal world that would have been a much clearer situation earlier, but it’s not something that’s been a distraction for us, because as I said yesterday, we had to focus on the football.
“There’s so much else going on. We can’t be involved in that now, we’ve got to concentrate on performances, concentrate on our training. Especially the players, it’s not for them to have to deal with that. People know what we stand for.”
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