The World Cup which began earlier this week in Qatar has been marred with its fair share of controversy since before it even began.
Drawing players competing for their countries and audiences alike from around the world, this is the first of its kind to be hosted in a middle eastern nation.
While displaying their support for causes they support by sporting armbands, patches or cleats as well as complete kits is commonplace for global teams, the limitations placed by the ideological differences of the culture in Qatar have curbed much of that.
The rigid rules put in place by Qatar and supported by Fifa restrict the teams and fans from showing a display of items that feature a popular slogan of support for LGBTQ+ support, ‘One Love’ or even a display of pride colors.
This has posed some hiccups for the Belgium national team as they have so far not been allowed to sport their stunning kit in collaboration with the iconic Tomorrowland which is a white jersey with rainbow trim accents and the word “LOVE” with the festival logo sewn on the back of the neck. FIFA said they were ok with the kits if the word “love” on the back however was taped up and covered.
With the new kit being rejected by Fifa only hours prior to their opening match, the Royal Belgian Football Association announced the team will wear their main red kit for the three initial matches.
As reported by Reuters however a Belgium spokesperson Stefan Van Loock said FIFA was rejecting the shirts not due to the colors which are linked to support of the support of the LGBTQ+ community, but because of the commercial link and branding by Tomorrowland which has its logo incorporated in the “O” of “LOVE.”
FIFA have told Belgium to remove the word 'Love' from their away kit, which also includes rainbow trim.
Belgium say they will wear their red kit for all group-stage games and deal with the situation if they go through. pic.twitter.com/h0pEX0uwQt
— Ben Jacobs (@JacobsBen) November 21, 2022
In an egregious show of power, FIFA also threatened teams will have to start games by being issued a yellow card for any player wearing the multicolored ‘One Love’ armband in support of diversity and inclusion as well. After this threat, team captains of Belgium, England, Wales, Denmark, Germany, Switzerland and the Netherlands all were forced to cancel wearing the armbands in their respective opening games.
H/T – We Rave You
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