OneLove armband campaign at Qatar World Cup splits opinion

OneLove armband campaign at Qatar World Cup splits opinion
England football team pay respects to late Queen ahead of training

England are one of the teams playing in the Qatar World Cup this winter who are planning to wear a OneLove armband as part of a campaign against discrimination.

The FA has joined European federations in supporting a season-long OneLove campaign, which means captain Harry Kane will wear the armband at the tournament which features a multi-coloured heart in the centre.

Same-sex relationships and the promotion of same-sex relationships are criminalised in Qatar.

The FA continues to request more detail on the assurances given by the local organising committee that all fans, including those from the LGBTQ+ community, will be welcome, safe and secure while it has been confirmed a group of migrant workers have been invited to England's World Cup training base to meet the players.

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England will join Wales, the Netherlands, Belgium, Denmark, France, Germany, Norway, Sweden and Switzerland in joining the OneLove campaign.

The decision to wear the armband in Qatar has split opinion online.

Some social media users supported the message behind the campaign and praised the meaning behind it. Others, however, accused the gesture of tokenism and argued England should boycott the tournament.

One called it “Just enough to show you’re doing something. But not enough to really upset the Qataris: An armband of love.”

Some argued that the team should not play at all, with one saying: “Not playing does nothing but harm to England and The FA. Better to protest and make a stand than ignore it.”

Alex Kay-Jelski, the Editor-in-Chief at The Athletic, wrote: “Wow, that OneLove armband is something else. Find it all truly insulting.”

He added: “Would rather nothing was done than that."

Another said: “I would rather we didn’t play in Qatar at all but I hope this stand of solidarity with wearing these armbands & this campaign can be the foundation to make a huge step forward in inclusion through the World Cup and beyond.”

One more commented: “Pathetic. Do me a favour! If you felt that strongly you wouldn’t go to a tournament in a country that could execute certain members of their population for being gay. Few rainbows & a bland non-confrontational slogan isn’t going to change things.”

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