FIFA continue to be mired in controversy at the Qatar World Cup as they ordered Belgium to remove the word ‘LOVE’ from one of their kits.
It follows the row over the OneLove rainbow armbands, to promote LGBTQ+ rights, that seven European countries’ captains were planning to wear.
They were threatened with sporting sanctions, rather than just a fine, if they wore the armbands during World Cup games, and they subsequently decided to drop them.
Now the sport’s governing body continues to crack down on teams’ messaging in Qatar.
Belgium have been ordered by FIFA to remove the word ‘LOVE’ from inside the collar of their away shirt.
The message bares no relation to the OneLove campaign and was released in the summer as part of a collaboration with music festival Tomorrowland.
“The word love must disappear,” Peter Bossaert, CEO of the Belgian Football Association, told Nieuwsblad.
“It’s sad, but FIFA leaves us no choice. The rest of the equipment remains unchanged.”
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Belgium will now wear their red kits for the group stages and will deal with the situation as the tournament progresses.
It is understood they may deal with the issue by putting a sticker over the word.
England captain Harry Kane spoke of his disappointment at not being able to wear the armband and insisted the decision was taken out of his hands.
“We’re disappointed,” Kane said. “I said yesterday we wanted to wear it. That decision was taken out of my hands today.
“I turned up to the stadium with the armband that I wore and I was told I had to wear that [the official FIFA one]. It’s out of our control as players.
“I’m sure the FA and FIFA will continue those discussions but most importantly today we focused on the game and got a great result.”
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