Kick It Out has accused FIFA of a 'sinister abuse of power' over the OneLove armband international captains were told they weren't allowed to wear at the 2022 World Cup.
The captains of seven nations competing in Qatar, including England and Wales skippers Harry Kane and Gareth Bale, had been set to wear the armband as they played their games.
However, plans to wear the armband were scrapped after it was made clear by FIFA that sanctions would be imposed on players wearing the OneLove armband.
At first these sanctions were thought to be a yellow card, something that wouldn't prevent them from playing but put them at risk of being suspended for a game if they picked up another booking on the pitch.
Meant to show solidarity with the LGBTQ+ community at the World Cup, the English and Welsh FAs were branded 'spineless' for ditching the armband after the last-minute u-turn.
Now the PA news agency understands that a yellow card would only have been the beginning of sanctions, if Harry Kane or other international captains had worn the OneLove armband they would have faced 'unlimited liability' and would not have been allowed onto the pitch for their matches.
Responding to the idea that players could have faced 'unlimited liability' for wearing an armband in a game of football, Kick It Out chair Sanjay Bhandari slated FIFA.
He wrote: "What FIFA did is beyond failing to live their values and is a sinister abuse of power designed to silence – hence the German gag protest.
"I guess if you hang around with autocratic dictators long enough, you start picking up some of their habits."
The German football association had claimed it had taken 'extreme blackmail' and the threat of 'massive sporting sanctions' to get players like Harry Kane not to wear the OneLove armband.
DFB media director Steffen Simon said they'd told FIFA they were planning to wear the armband back in September but had received no response from the governing body.
The German team protested against the crackdown on the armband by covering their mouths for a team photo, with the picture later give the caption: "Armband or no armband, we stand by our position."
Former England player turned BBC broadcaster Alex Scott wore the OneLove armband in the stadium while reporting on the Three Lions' opening fixture against Iran.
She was praised as a 'legend' and an 'icon' for her show of solidarity with the LGBTQ+ community, who face discrimination and persecution in Qatar as homosexuality is illegal there and carries the risk of a jail sentence.
In response, FIFA referred LADbible to their #NoDiscrimination campaign, 'must wear the captain's armband provided by FIFA'.
The governing body said they were all for 'supporting good and legitimate causes' but insisted any support 'has to be done within the framework of the competition regulations which are known to everyone'.
They also said FIFA president Gianni Infantino has 'reiterated his support of the LGBTQI+ community during the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022'.Featured Image Credit: PA Images / Alamy