England accused of ‘bending’ its principles on LGBTQ rights

In their opening game against Iran on Monday, the Three Lions triumphed with a 6-2 win. In the host nation Qatar, homosexuality is illegal, prompting outrage from Western fans who had hoped to enjoy themselves at the games, but were warned by the UK Foreign Secretary to respect the culture of the hosts.

In response, the England team, along with six other nations, planned to wear LGBTQ+ anti-hate OneLove bracelets with a rainbow love heart to show solidarity.

However, just three hours before England’s first match on Monday, FIFA announced that players could not wear the controversial armband.

The U-turn was decided after FIFA threatened to book team captains with an immediate yellow card if they decided to use it.

England captain Harry Kane said: “We are disappointed. We wanted to use it, that decision was taken out of my hands.”

Ruth Davidson, MP for the Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party, spoke to ITV’s Peston about the U-turn in the use of OneLove bracelets.

The LGBTQ+ MP said: “I have a lot of respect for Gareth Southgate… but if you’re going to make a song and dance about doing something for a principle, you have to stick with it, even if it costs you a penny.” yellow card.”

Ms Davidson accused the teams of “abandoning” their principles, which “was pretty poor and pretty weak”.

She added: “They did a song and dance about this as a matter of principle.

“Well, if your principles crumble as soon as they can cost you something as big as a yellow card, then how deep do they go?”

The parliamentarian pointed to the actions of the Iranian team that refused to sing their national anthem on Monday due to the ongoing protests over the death of Mahsa Amini that have killed at least 419 people.

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Ms Davidson said that, by contrast, Iran’s actions at the World Cup that “could cost them a great deal, personally, in terms of their safety and their families…was bravado that was off the charts.”

On Monday, when Wales faced the USA in their first World Cup match since 1958, Welsh fans wearing rainbow-colored bucket hats had them confiscated or told to remove them.

The incident prompted FIFA and Qatar to hold urgent talks, as FIFA told the hosts that it had assured them that all members of the football community would be welcome, as would the rainbow flags.

The FAW announced its “extreme disappointment” over the incident, saying that “the FAW has compiled information on these alleged incidents and will address this matter directly with FIFA.”

On Wednesday, Germany suffered a shock defeat against Japan, which won 2-1, but the European team held a protest against FIFA over its handling of the bracelet reversal.

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The players from Germany put their hands over their mouths in a sign that they felt “FIFA is silencing us”.

The Football Association came under fire from English fan James Fogarty, 39, who told the PA news agency: “FIFA sold itself out, true, and FIFA sold itself out to Qatari royalty too.

“Clearly they are not running the show, the Qataris are running the show and that is unfortunate.”

Responding to concerns from LGBTQ+ fans and allies planning to attend the games, Foreign Secretary James Cleverly assured them that he has had “difficult talks” with the Qataris.

He said: “I’ve made it clear that we have a very strong opinion on this issue and, in fact, one of the advantages of having a strong relationship with other countries is that you can have these difficult conversations.

“Qataris know how seriously we take this issue and they have taken real steps to ensure that gay football fans are safe and feel safe and can enjoy football.”

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