Roy Keane criticizes Kane and Bale for refusing to wear OneLove bracelets

Roy Keane criticized England captain Harry Kane for his U-turn in wearing the “OneLove” armband in favor of a FIFA-approved one, calling the move a “big mistake”. Both Kane and his Welsh counterpart Gareth Bale had intended to wear the rainbow-coloured “OneLove” captain’s headband in solidarity with the LGBTQ+ community, but decided at the last minute to ditch it after pressure from FIFA. and the football associations of England and Wales. . FIFA president Gianni Infantino had declared before the match that there were “clear regulations on armbands”, effectively banning the wearing of the rainbow-coloured “OneLove” armband to placate the Qatari government, which views homosexuality as a crime. a criminal act punishable by up to seven penalties. years in prison.

Mark Pougatch asked: “Did it put England and Wales in a difficult position, in that they wanted to stage a protest but didn’t want to risk a major player being suspended for a knockout game, or a third game, for something? in the opening game?

Mr Keane said: “I think the players could have done it in the first game and taken the penalty, whatever it is.

“Kane, obviously you’re risking me getting a yellow card, but that would have been a great statement.

“Do it for the first game. If you get the yellow card, what a message that would have been from Kane or Bale. Take your medicine and then the next game you move on.

“You don’t wear it the next game because you don’t want to get suspended, but I think that was a big mistake.

“I think both players – we’re just talking about England and Wales here – should have stood their ground and done it, regardless of external or internal pressure from their own associations. Have faith and go with it.”

England, Wales and five other nations, including Belgium, Denmark, Germany, the Netherlands and Switzerland, contacted FIFA in September to say they planned to wear the rainbow-coloured armbands.

But the seven federations heard nothing from FIFA until Sunday night, when the call was made to wear black FIFA-issued armbands with the word “No Discrimination” written on them.

READ MORE: Qatar World Cup security denies entry to reporter wearing LGBTQ t-shirt [REVEAL]

Following the decision, the seven federations issued a joint statement saying they were “prepared to pay fines” for wearing OneLove armbands, but were unwilling to risk having their players banned.

The statement said: “FIFA has been very clear that it will impose sporting sanctions if our captains wear the armbands on the field of play. As national associations, we cannot put our players in a position where they can face sporting sanctions, including reservations, so we have asked captains not to attempt to wear armbands at FIFA World Cup matches. .

“We were prepared to pay the fines that would normally apply to infractions of the kit rules and we had a firm commitment to wear the armband. However, we cannot put our players in a situation where they can be booked or even forced to leave the field of play.

“We are very frustrated by FIFA’s decision, which we believe is unprecedented: we wrote to FIFA in September informing them of our desire to use the One Love bracelet to actively support inclusion in football, and received no response. ”.

DON’T MISS: Former Wales captain Laura McAllister forced to remove rainbow hat [REVEAL]
FIFA called it a ‘disgrace’ amid armband controversy [REPORT]
So much for England’s bravery – all it took was a threat of a yellow card. [OPINION]

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