England face fine and Harry Kane could get yellow card for One Love armband at World Cup

    MILAN, ITALY - SEPTEMBER 23: Harry Kane of England wearing a One Love LGBT captain's adjusts a further black armband prior to kick off in the UEFA Nations League, League A, Group 3 match between Italy and England at San Siro on September 23, 2022 in Milan, Italy. (Photo by Jonathan Moscrop/Getty Images)
    Harry Kane insists he will wear the ‘One Love’ armband – even if he is punished (Getty)

    The Football Association is anticipating a fine from FIFA while Harry Kane could receive a yellow card if he wears a ‘One Love’ armband for England’s World Cup opener against Iran on Monday.

    On the eve of England’s first game in Group B, the FA is understood to have been informed by FIFA that Kane is not permitted to wear the armband which is designed to promote diversity and inclusion.

    Wearing the rainbow-coloured armband holds even more significance at the World Cup in Qatar, where homosexuality is illegal, and seven other European nations, including Wales, are also intending to make the same statement as England.

    However, just days before the tournament began, FIFA notified countries of their own armbands which were to be worn by captains for each game and included phrases such as ‘football unites the world’, ‘share the meal’ and ‘bring the moves’. An anti-discrimination armband was not included until the the quarter-final stage.

    Under FIFA’s current laws, ‘no item [of playing kit or other clothing or equipment or otherwise] may be worn or used in any controlled area if Fifa considers that it is dangerous, offensive or indecent, includes political, religious, or personal slogans, statements, or images, or otherwise does not comply in full with the laws of the game’.

    Players who go against that could receive a yellow card but Kane is adamant that he will wear the armband for England’s opening game against Iran on Monday.

    AL KHOR, QATAR - NOVEMBER 20: Detail of the captain armband of Hassan Alhaydos of Qatar during the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 Group A match between Qatar and Ecuador at Al Bayt Stadium on November 20, 2022 in Al Khor, Qatar. (Photo by Michael Regan - FIFA/FIFA via Getty Images)
    Qatar captain Hassan Alhaydos wore FIFA’s own armband for their World Cup opener against Ecuador (Getty)

    ‘We’ve made it clear as a team and a staff and organisation that we want to wear the armband,’ said Kane.

    ‘I know the FA are talking to FIFA at the moment, and I’m sure by game-time tomorrow they will have their decision. I think we’ve made it clear that we want to wear it.’

    Speaking earlier in the day, the Holland captain Virgil van Dijk, whose side face Senegal on Monday, alluded to the risk of a booking for wearing the armband.

    Virgil van Dijk insists he will also wear the 'One Love' armband for Netherlands' game against Senegal
    Virgil van Dijk insists he will also wear the ‘One Love’ armband for Netherlands’ game against Senegal (Shutterstock)

    Meanwhile, Netherlands captain Virgil van Dijk insists he will also wear the armband for his side’s first game in Group A against Senegal on Monday.

    ‘Nothing changed from our point of view,’ said Van Dijk.

    ‘If I will get a yellow card for wearing it then we would have to discuss it because I don’t like to play while being on a yellow [card].’

    FA chief executive Mark Bullingham told Sky News: ‘They haven’t given us any response to our letter.

    ‘I think there’s a possibility that we might be fined. And if we are, then we’ll pay the fine.

    ‘We think it’s really important to show our values. And that’s what we’ll be doing.’

    Meanwhile, German FA chief Bernd Neuendorf hit out at FIFA for proposing an alternative just days before the start of the tournament.

    ‘We will stay with the European position,’ he told ZDF.

    ‘We will play with it and tomorrow England, Wales and the Netherlands will play with it.

    ‘Fifa came up with their own armband idea just two days ago. That’s was not acceptable for us.

    ‘England have played with the ‘One Love’ armband already and the captains of the teams said they will play with it. So we could not agree with FIFA on this point.’

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