Harry Kane has come out in support of the OneLove campaign, revealing his dismay at FIFA having threatened captains with punishment at the World Cup.
In the end, Kane did not wear the OneLove band that he was going to wear even up to the final hours before the match. The OneLove campaign was initially supported by England and nine other nations back in September 2022 as a response to Qatar hosting the World Cup.
OneLove was started by the Netherlands and was backed by nations including England and Wales as a way to “promote inclusion and send a message against discrimination of any kind as the eyes of the world fall on the global game”.
Harry Kane on OneLove Ban: “We’re Disappointed”
England Captain Speaks Out After FIFA Threaten Severe Punishment Over OneLove Captain’s Armbands
Kane said: “We’re disappointed. We wanted to wear it, that decision was taken out of my hands.
“I turned up to the stadium with the armband that I wore and I was told I had to wear that.
“Look, 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.
“You’ve seen over the last five years we’ve made a stand as a squad and we’ll continue to do that as much as we can. We took the knee today as well but sometimes these decisions aren’t up to us and that’s the bottom line.”
Read More: 2022 World Cup Predictions: England to Top Group B
FIFA’s OneLove Punishment
The punishment for a captain stepping onto the pitch with a OneLove armband would be a yellow card for every match that this occurs in. So this threatens each player with a sending-off should they make any foul. Moreover, per FIFA rules, if a player is booked in the first two group stage matches, they will miss the third game. Subsequent bookings down the line mean captains like Harry Kane or Manuel Neuer could miss knockout matches.
So for Kane, there was no choice but to not wear the armband. Was there potential for Kane and others to wear the armband for one game to make a point? It isn’t clear. The previous idea was to wear them for every match.
A ‘compromise’ was made. FIFA had instead allowed captains to wear a “No Discrimination” armband, which is very simple, a white band with black text. No hint of a rainbow that fans and journalists were getting stopped for, asked to cover up or remove when entering stadia at the tournament.
‘Clearly, I wasn’t going to take my hat off… I pointed out FIFA had made lots of comments about supporting LGBT rights.’
Former Wales footballer @LauraMcAllister has told ITV News that security at the Ahmed bin Ali Stadium refused to let her enter with a rainbow bucket hat. pic.twitter.com/Sna2AQYieF
— ITV News (@itvnews) November 21, 2022
LGBTQ Groups React to OneLove Ban
Stonewall, the LGBTQ+ charity, said on Twitter: “By threatening sporting sanctions & stopping players from wearing #OneLove armbands, Fifa are brushing criticism of human rights abuses under the carpet.
“LGBTQ+ people are criminalised in Qatar just for being themselves. No country which abuses the human rights of its people in this way should have been awarded with the honour of hosting a major sporting tournament in the first place.
“We appreciate all the @England and @Cymru players’ efforts to draw attention to the appalling human rights abuses of LGBTQ+ people in Qatar, and we urge them to continue to speak out in Qatar as best and safely as they can.”
By threatening sporting sanctions & stopping players from wearing #OneLove armbands, FIFA are brushing criticism of human rights abuses under the carpet.https://t.co/swlWwQS7Dh
— Stonewall (@stonewalluk) November 21, 2022
Last Word on Football recognise the human rights abuses and instances of corruption taking place throughout Qatar and in the background of the World Cup. Learn more about some of the issues surrounding the World Cup here.
Will never take for granted what an honour it is to lead @England out at a World Cup. 🦁🦁🦁 pic.twitter.com/cZO3TvrKuh
— Harry Kane (@HKane) November 21, 2022