FIFA blocks Onelove armband at Women’s World Cup: Eight alternatives approved

FIFA blocks Onelove armband at Women’s World Cup: Eight alternatives approved
Photo: Bildbyran / Icon Sport

Armbands for the FIFA Women's World Cup promote inclusivity and support various causes.

However, FIFA has made a significant decision ahead of the upcoming Women's World Cup, announcing the armbands that will be allowed to be worn by captains during the tournament.

This move comes in response to a controversy that occurred during the men's World Cup held in Qatar in 2022, where certain displays of support for social causes were restricted.

In an effort to promote inclusivity and address discrimination, FIFA has introduced a list of eight armbands supporting various causes.

Each armband begins with the phrase “Unite for” and represents a specific cause, including inclusion, indigenous peoples, gender equality, education for all, ending violence against women, peace, zero hunger, and the belief that “football is joy, peace, love, pass.”

The emblem displayed on the Unite for Inclusion armband incorporates the identical colour scheme utilised in the OneLove armband.

This includes using red, black, and green, symbolising race and heritage (referred to as the Pan-African flag). Additionally, pink, yellow, and blue (representing the pansexual flag) are incorporated to represent diverse gender identities and sexual orientations.

These armbands were developed through extensive discussions between FIFA and national federations, aiming to prevent a similar uproar to what occurred during the men's World Cup in Qatar. At that time, the Belgian national team was reportedly instructed by FIFA to remove the word “love” from their away kit collar.

There were also instances where fans were prohibited from wearing pride colours inside the stadiums. Furthermore, teams were banned from wearing the “One Love” armband, with the risk of facing point deductions.

Although the original version of the “One Love” armband remains prohibited, a modified version has been approved for use in the Women's World Cup.

FIFA president Gianni Infantino expressed his support for the armbands, acknowledging the importance of addressing social causes and promoting positive change.

“Football unites the world and our global events, such as the FIFA Women’s World Cup, have a unique power to bring people together and provide joy, excitement and passion,” he stated.

“After engaging in open discussions with various stakeholders, including member associations and players, we have decided to highlight a range of social causes, including inclusion, gender equality, peace, and education, throughout all 64 matches of the FIFA Women's World Cup.”

The development of these armbands involved extensive collaboration with national federations, as FIFA aimed to avoid a repeat of the standoff between European players, officials, and FIFA during the World Cup in Qatar.

Captains from several men's teams, including England, Wales, Belgium, the Netherlands, Switzerland, Germany, and Denmark, had planned to wear rainbow armbands with the slogan “OneLove.”

However, FIFA threatened to issue yellow cards to any player wearing them, leading the federations from those countries to release a joint statement expressing their disappointment.

Frequently asked questions about the FIFA Women's World Cup

Where and when is the FIFA Women’s World Cup Australia & New Zealand 2023 being held?

This article was most recently revised and updated 11 months ago

Rababe Koussaimi, a 22-year-old journalist, is deeply passionate about the world of sports. She grew up in a footballing environment, supporting both Bayern Munich and Wydad Athletic Club. She began her English journalism career by hosting a podcast for the first English radio station in Morocco. Currently, the Moroccan journalist channels her enthusiasm into writing and conducting extensive research, creating insightful and engaging content for GoalBall Live readers.
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