The FA has been criticised after it was announced that England and Wales would not be wearing the One Love armbands while playing in the World Cup in Qatar.
Just hours ahead of England and Wales' first games of the tournament today (21 November), a statement from the FA said the captains Harry Kane and Gareth Bale wouldn’t be wearing the One Love armbands, which are designed to show solidarity with the LGBTQ+ community, due to potential sanctions imposed by FIFA.
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."
The last-minute change has left a bitter taste for some fans, with many branding the decision ‘spineless’.
In a post on Twitter, one person wrote: “Spineless. Pathetic. Embarrassing.
“The FA can forget pretending that they care about the LGBT community and inclusion now, we all know it's entirely vapid.”
Another said: “The FA - Spineless. How are LGBTQ+ footballers supposed to come out and feel comfortable in themselves, when you can’t even wear an armband? Deplorable.”
A third commented: “England and every other nation that have backed out of the One Love campaign have just sent a message that the people they're meant to stand up for are worth less than a yellow card. Absolutely spineless decision.”
Prior to the announcement, Kane had expressed his desire to wear the armband throughout the tournament.
The statement from the FA went on to say players were ‘disappointed’ and will ‘show support in other ways’.
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."
Featured Image Credit: Mark Pain/Alamy PA/Alamy
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