Bale and Wales train as Page's men set their focus on Iran

Wales sent a clear message to FIFA by displaying rainbow flags at their World Cup training base in Qatar after teams were threatened with bookings if they wore the OneLove armband at matches.

As Wales prepares to face Iran in their second Group B tomorrow (November 25), rainbow flags could be spotted around that included their team badge of the Welsh dragon.

Captain Gareth Bale had planned to wear the rainbow armband - colours associated with the Pride flag - during the tournament.

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England, Netherlands, Belgium, Denmark, France, Germany, Norway, Sweden, and Switzerland team captains had also planned to sport the armbands to "use the power of football to promote inclusion and send a message against discrimination of any kind as the eyes of the world fall on the global game."

But the national teams were informed by FIFA in a last-minute U-turn, players could face "sporting sanctions" if they wore the armband at games.

It comes as Qatar's human rights record and anti-LGBT+ laws have been in the spotlight, following the country's role as the host nation for the tournament.

A rainbow flag with the Wales' blazon is displayed at the Al Saad SC in Doha on November 23, 2022, during the Qatar 2022 World Cup football tournament.Photo by NICOLAS TUCAT/AFP via Getty Images

Football Association of Wales chief executive Noel Mooney told ITV that Wales is "furious" with the football governing body's "cheap" and "low" decision.

"For months and months we have known we were going to wear the OneLove armband and they certainly did," Mooney said.

"To lay that one on us is pretty cheap and pretty low, to be frank. We are really disappointed by that attitude.

"We have been absolutely furious about this. We have given Fifa everything we have got in terms of how furious we are about this decision. We think it was a terrible decision."

Meanwhile, FIFA has also been criticised after fans were forced to remove their rainbow bucket hats upon entering stadiums.

Former Wales captain Laura McAllister who is gay was at the Wales and USA match where she was told to remove her rainbow bucket hat and described the situation as "heavy-handed" and "quite intimidating," BBCreported.

Mooney who was also at the stadium detailed how he had heard about bucket hats, shoe laces and armbands being taken off fans, describing it as "appalling."

"We were told this was going to be a really inclusive, welcoming, warm World Cup. That is not what I have seen, I have to say," he said.

"We have asked Fifa to come back to us today with some clarification for the Iran game that our fans can wear whatever they wish.

The Wales FA chief added: "Their voice was taken away, the players' voice was taken away by the armband. For that we are deeply disappointed."

Elsewhere, German players covered their mouths for the team photograph in solidarity over the OneLove armband controversy ahead of their opening match against Japan.

"It was a sign, a message that we wanted to send out. We wanted to convey the message that Fifa is silencing us," head coach Hansi Flick said after the match.

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