Harry Kane and Gareth Bale will no longer wear 'One Love' captain armbands at World Cup
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Harry Kane and Gareth Bale will not be wearing the One Love armbands at this year's World Cup after FIFA threatened sanctions.
The UK football captains were expected to wear the badges in solidarity with the LGBTQ+ community, despite Qatar’s harsh penalties on same-sex relationships.
However, an FA statement shared today (21 November) claimed they were unable to do so after FIFA said it would 'impose sporting sanctions' if they wore the rainbow armbands on the pitch.
The Football Association said: "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."
It continued: "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."
If the football captains refuse to follow the rules, they could face a fine or even a yellow card for breaching the regulations.
The news is no doubt frustrating for the players, with Kane expressing his desire to wear the armband as an expression of solidarity.
Prior to the decision, he said: "I think we’ve made it clear as a team and a staff and organisation that we want to wear the armband.
"I know the FA are talking to FIFA at the moment, and I’m sure by game-time tomorrow they will have their decision.
"But yeah, I think we’ve made it clear that we want to wear it."
FIFA’s leadership group had previously asked the 32 World Cup teams to concentrate on football rather than ‘political’ differences.
A letter penned to the nations reads: “We know football does not live in a vacuum, and we are equally aware that there are many challenges and difficulties of a political nature all around the world.
“But please do not allow football to be dragged into every ideological or political battle that exists.”
The issue of LGBTQ+ rights in Qatar is just one of many controversies plaguing the World Cup tournament this year.
Famous faces who have agreed to promote the event have faced calls to drop out over the country's record of human rights abuses and attitude towards the LGBTQ+ community.
Meanwhile, a string of high-profile musicians have reportedly rejected big money offers to perform at the event, with Rod Stewart and Dua Lipa both speaking out on the matter.
Even Sepp Blatter, the former FIFA president who oversaw Qatar winning its bid for the 2022 World Cup, admitted it was a 'mistake' to let the country host the competition.
LADbible has contacted FIFA for comment.