Harry Kane defies last-ditch bid by World Cup chiefs to stop him wearing rainbow ‘One Love’ armband

    HARRY Kane today defied a last-ditch bid by World Cup chiefs to stop him wearing a rainbow “One Love” armband.

    His team-mate Eric Dier also became the first England player to speak out on Qatar controversies, calling stadium worker deaths “terrible”.

    Harry Kane will continue to wear the One Love armband over the alternative Fifa suggested at the last minute

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    Harry Kane will continue to wear the One Love armband over the alternative Fifa suggested at the last minuteCredit: Getty

    Fifa’s rattled chief Gianni Infantino had earlier launched into a bizarre defence of the World Cup, which kicks off tomorrow afternoon after a succession of cock-ups.

    Three Lions captain Kane will sport its anti-discrimination armband when England play Iran tomorrow after the FA rejected a late Fifa alternative yesterday.

    In its latest startling move, Fifa chiefs unveiled its own “approved” armbands including one emblazoned with: “NoDiscrimination.”

    But the FA hit back: “We respect the Fifa armband but are committed to the One Love armband and intend to wear it.”

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    Kane, 29, has worn the rainbow band for the past two England games “to send a message against discrimination of any kind”.

    It promotes gay rights but is not directly aimed at anti-LGBTQ+ laws in Qatar, where being gay can still be punished by death.

    A Three Lions source said last night: “Fifa will be furious but we have no intention of changing course now – particularly when the alternative is being offered so late in the day.

    “Our message is clear and will remain the same.”

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    The One Love campaign is also being backed by the captains of Holland, Belgium, Denmark, France, Germany, Norway, Sweden, Switzerland and Wales.

    FA chief executive Mark Bullingham said a request had been sent for permission to wear the armband but Fifa did not respond.

    He went on: “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.”

    Fifa’s alternative will feature a range of slogans for different rounds, including BringTheMoves and FootballUnitesTheWorld.

    Meanwhile, Spurs defender Dier, 28, criticised Qatar’s shameful record on migrant builders after more than 6,500 were reported to have died constructing stadia.

    He said: “A lot of things have happened that are disappointing … what has happened with the building of the stadiums. It is a terrible situation.”

    It came after Fifa supremo Infantino launched into a wild defence of Qatar’s already calamitous tournament.

    Fifa has been slammed for a sudden stadium beer ban, chaotic organisation plus mounting fury over Qatar’s human rights record.

    And Infantino began yesterday by rambling: “Today I have strong feelings. Today I feel Qatari, I feel Arab, I feel African, I feel gay, I feel disabled, I feel a migrant worker.”

    Swiss-Italian Infantino – who has now moved to live in Qatar – then accused the West of “hypocrisy” over human rights.

    In an extraordinary tirade which lasted for nearly an hour, Infantino, 52, said: “I am European. For what we have been doing for 3,000 years around the world, we should be apologising for the next 3,000 years before giving moral lessons.”

    The bald bigwig bizarrely cited his own discrimination experiences after being bullied as a boy for having red hair and freckles.

    He also defended Fifa’s decision in 2010 to let Qatar host the World Cup. He said: “This one-sided moral lesson is just hypocrisy. I wonder why no one recognises the progress made here since 2016.

    “It is not easy to take the critics of a decision that was made 12 years ago. Qatar is ready, it will be the best World Cup ever.”

    He was backed by pop star Robbie Williams who will perform during the World Cup.

    He said: “If we’re not condoning human rights abuses anywhere, then it would be the shortest tour the world has ever known: I wouldn’t even be able to perform in my own kitchen.”

    However Infantino was last night blasted by campaigners.

    Robbie de Santos from gay right group Stonewall said: “LGBTQ+ people in Qatar are criminalised and persecuted for simply existing and cannot compromise who they are.

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    “These comments serve only to trivialise the very real suffering and oppression faced on a daily basis by LGBTQ+ Qataris.”

    Amnesty International said: “If Fifa is to salvage anything from this tournament, it must announce it will invest a significant part of the $6billion it will make to compensate workers and their families.”

    PM SUPPORT FOR 3 LIONS

    RISHI Sunak has backed Gareth Southgate’s Three Lions to go “all the way” in the World Cup.

    The PM said ahead of Monday’s opening game with Iran: “I know our boys will do us proud and I’ll be cheering them on all the way.”

    Mr Sunak also celebrated the fact Wales are appearing at the tournament for the first time since 1958.

    He said: “To have two home nation teams qualify for the tournament is a big win for the domestic game.”

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