FIFA bans Belgium warm-up shirt after requesting alteration to away kit to remove the word ‘love’


    Romelu Lukaku in Belgium's vibrant warm-up shirt
    Romelu Lukaku in Belgium’s vibrant warm-up shirt (adidas)

    FIFA has banned Belgium from wearing their vibrant warm-up shirt at the World Cup in Qatar.

    Belgium’s World Cup campaign begins against Canada on Wednesday, while Roberto Martinez’s side will also play Morocco and Croatia in Group F.

    But just days before their tournament starts, Belgium have been forced to make some last-minute kit alterations at FIFA’s request.

    Eden Hazard was due to wear the OneLove armband until FIFA stepped in on Monday and failed to provide assurances that players would not receive a yellow card for the gesture. Harry Kane, Gareth Bale and Virgil van Dijk all opted not to wear the armband for their World Cup games on Monday, and Hazard will now follow suit on Wednesday.

    Belgium have also been forced to alter their white away kit to cover up the word ‘love’, which is on the inside of the collar and is not visible to supporters.

    However, FIFA have also taken umbrage over Belgium’s warm-up shirt which the players had been due to wear on the pitch during their pre-match preparations.

    Belgium have not received a reason from FIFA for the ban on their warm-up top, and given that it has no messages or symbols on it, it’s assumed that the colourfulness of the jersey is causing an issue.

    Belgium are not allowed to wear their warm-up top at the World Cup
    Belgium are not allowed to wear their warm-up top at the World Cup (adidas)

    ‘All countries are perplexed,’ said Peter Bossaert, head of Belgium’s Football Association.

    ‘Most of my colleagues were at the opening match, I don’t think they saw anything of the spectacle. 

    ‘We had other concerns. The fact is that all of us cannot live with the attitude of FIFA. Not even myself.

    Belgium's away shirt has been modified to remove the word 'love' inside the collar
    Belgium’s away shirt has been modified to remove the word ‘love’ inside the collar (adidas)

    ‘The toughness of FIFA is shocking. We need to critically analyse our relationship.

    ‘We need FIFA, but they also need us. We will see in the future how to proceed.’

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