FIFA force Belgium to change their away kit amid OneLove armband controversy at Qatar World Cup

    Netherlands v Belgium: UEFA Nations League - League Path Group 4
    Belgium captain Eden Hazard sporting his country’s away kit for the World Cup (Photo: Getty)

    The Belgium football team have been told by FIFA that they must change their away shirt at the Qatar World Cup – because it has the word ‘love’ on it.

    FIFA have already enraged supporters and other teams after threatening several European teams, including Belgium, England and Wales, into not wearing the OneLove armband.

    The symbol of inclusion and anti-discrimination was due to be worn by the likes of Harry Kane and Gareth Bale before it was controversially announced that any player with it would be shown a yellow card as soon as a game begun.

    Teams decided this was too much of a risk and opted out of the gesture, with captain Kane subsequently wearing a normal armband with ‘No discrimination’ written on it during England’s 6-2 victory over Iran on Monday.

    It seems now though that the row is far from over, and has been taken to new heights, with Peter Bossaert, CEO of the Belgian Football Association, claiming that his side must alter their kits before their first match.

    Belgium kick-off their World Cup campaign against Canada on Wednesday 7pm.

    As well as the word ‘love’ being embroidered into the collar, the white away kit also features rainbow colours, the symbol for the LGBTQ+ community.

    Soccer Football - FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 - Group B - England v Iran - Khalifa International Stadium, Doha, Qatar - November 21, 2022 General view as England's Harry Kane wears a OneLove armband before the match REUTERS/Hannah Mckay
    England’s Harry Kane was forced to ditch the OneLove armband for a FIFA approved one (Photo: Reuters)

    ‘The word ‘LOVE’ must disappear,’ a furious Bossaert said.

    ‘It’s sad, but FIFA leaves us no choice. The rest of the equipment remains unchanged.

    ‘We have been in solidarity with the participating countries all along by wearing the band. You can’t just break that solidarity now.

    ‘England was the first country to play after the sanction was announced. It is sportingly unfair to ask them to resist that pressure from FIFA.’

    Fellow Belgian newspaper HLN also reported that Bossaert said the Belgian FA will ‘critically review our relationship with FIFA,’ following the controversy.

    MORE : Micah Richards praises ‘wonderful’ Bukayo Saka after scoring twice in England’s World Cup win over Iran

    MORE : ‘Ridiculous’ – Iran manager slammed after concussed goalkeeper is not subbed during World Cup opener vs England

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