Manchester news 'England's World Cup armband U-turn is a wasted opportunity, but not a surprise' Manchester united news
PremierLeague-News.Com - England and Wales have made a U-Turn against wearing Pride armbands during the Qatar World Cup, M.E.N LGBTQ+ reporter Adam Maidment says the original decision could have helped pave the way for the future of football
PremierLeague-News.Com - Breaking Sport Transfer News ! It was set to be a unified call for inclusion and support towards the LGBTQ+ community, but it ultimately turned out to be a whimpered down version of events that catered mostly to a state with questionable human rights records... Ahead of arriving in Qatar, the England and Wales captains vowed to wear OneLove armbands during the course of the tournament to show their support for LGBTQ+ rights. For a place where same-sex activity is still illegal and can see people fined, imprisoned or even face the death penalty, it was set to be a defiant and brave move. But just hours before England took to the pitch against Iran this afternoon, the Football Associations for both teams, alongside Belgium, Denmark, Germany, The Netherlands and Switzerland, announced they had decided to back down from the plan following warnings from FIFA, which suggested sporting sanctions would be imposed on anyone wearing the OneLove armbands. READ MORE: 'Can I watch or am I saying LGBTQ+ rights don't matter?' - the Manchester football fans wrestling over how to follow the Qatar World Cup In a joint statement, the football associations said that while they were prepared to ‘pay fines that would normally apply to breaches of kit regulations’, they couldn’t ‘put players in the situation where they might be booked or even forced to leave the field of play’. Now, full disclaimer, I am not a huge football fan. I don’t know anything about the off-side rule and I couldn’t tell you a single fact about Lionel Messi’s sporting career. But, I don’t think I need to know the rules of football to understand the scope of this situation. The FIFA World Cup 2022 in Qatar kicked off on Sunday (Image: PA) England, and the other football associations involved, had a real chance to shine a much-needed spotlight on LGBTQ+ rights around the world. Despite tremendous work from grassroots organisations to make the sport better, football is still deeply rooted in homophobia and discrimination - both on and off the pitch. There’s a reason why so few LGBTQ+ players feel they can be open about who they are. Wearing a rainbow armband may seem trivial to some but I can imagine it would have done a whole deal of good for young LGBTQ+ fans watching around the world who may still think they can’t be welcomed into the sport they love. The OneLove armband was also a chance to demonstrate to those who have anti-LGBTQ+ laws in place in 2022, such as the host nation, that the rest of the world is trying to be more accepting and inclusive. In my humble opinion, the fact that FIFA threatened reprisals to countries that pledged support to the LGBTQ+ community is shameful in itself. Realistically, if many countries decided to still wear the armbands, would they really all get handed sanctions? You’d think that would be a bigger problem for FIFA during a global event which has already faced a lot of backlash.
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. It also reeks of interference, again, from Qatar. Of course, there is a duty to be respectful of any place you are visiting but that doesn’t mean that the human rights and suffering faced by people in that place should be ignored either. Especially when you’re earning millions to be there.
FIFA President Gianni Infantino faced criticism earlier this week when he attempted to defend the Qatar World Cup during a bizarre rant (Image: PA) When Gary Neville hosted Have I Got News For You earlier this month, the former footballer came under fire for his involvement in this year’s World Cup. Outlining his decision to commentate on the tournament for Qatar-owned TV channel beIN Sports, Neville said: "My view has always been that you either highlight the issues and challenges in these countries and speak about them or you don't say anything and you stay back home." But, using his own words against him, the FA have ultimately decided to do neither. The England team arrived in Qatar promising to highlight the issues and then decided to back down at the very last moment. They, quite frankly, should have just said nothing and stayed back home. But, of course, that was never on the cards. Despite all of its flaws, the World Cup can bring a real sense of pride and unity during the worst of times. You just have to look at England’s momentous win at the Women’s Euros earlier this year to see how it can bring people together. But, for me personally, there is no pride or unity to be felt during this World Cup. To put it similarly to FIFA president Gianni Infantino's bizarre attack earlier this week on those who have criticised the World Cup in Qatar: Today I feel gay. Today I feel let down. Today I feel unsurprised by it all. Read more of today's top stories here READ NEXT: 'This has absolutely destroyed me': The men beaten up for being gay Cristiano Ronaldo was right about one Manchester United player during interview Parents fear ‘a price is being put on road safety’ as school schemes are pulled Manchester United icon Gary Neville likens FIFA president Gianni Infantino to Donald Trump in furious rant England predicted as FIFA World Cup winners in Haydock horse race with Glenn Hoddle
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