FIFA Makes Drastic Rainbow U-Turn After Big World Cup Crackdown
FIFA has reportedly made a quick u-turn on the rainbow flag which will now no longer be banned from the eight World Cup stadiums in Qatar starting with the next round of matches. It is now alleged that the host nation gave FIFA guarantees that fans can enter stadiums in rainbow colors after a tense opening week in which soccer’s governing body ultimately banned the OneLove captain’s armband.
Seven nations were ready to wear the political symbol of inclusion and diversity before FIFA threatened the captains with a one-match ban, cornering the countries.
Now the independent are reporting that fans will be able to wear rainbow-themed clothing from the next round of group matches after a dramatic swing of the pendulum.
Large numbers of supporters at the tournament have already had items confiscated on their way to the stadiums, including bucket hats, flags and jerseys.
But it is now understood that there will be leniency in the future, despite Qatar’s strict laws around homosexuality.
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The German Football Association tweeted the following statement: “With our captain’s armband, we wanted to set an example of the values we live by in the national team: diversity and mutual respect. Being noisy along with other nations.”
“Human rights are non-negotiable,” the statement added, and “denying us the bracelet is like denying us a voice. We stand by our position.”
Six of Germany’s players wore rainbow shoelaces during the match, including captain Manuel Neuer.
In light of the events, Everton winger Andros Townsend, who works as a pundit for ITV and talkSPORT in Qatar, said he was uncomfortable with people “protesting and disrupting a culture”.
He told talkSPORT: “It’s a difficult conversation. I played with a lot of Muslim players and I understand that gay marriage is prohibited due to religious beliefs.”
“If I go back to Rainbow Laces, Muslim players will respect it but they won’t be able to promote it because they fear going against their religion and ultimately going to hell. It’s hard.”
“When they are in our country, they respect our religious beliefs. We go to their country, yes we don’t agree with that, none of us agree with their beliefs, but it’s still their religious beliefs right or wrong, they believe it for a reason.
“It makes me a little uneasy that we’re coming here protesting and disrupting a culture when these guys are in their own country minding their own business.”
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