Lawmakers slam FIFA for banning ‘OneLove’ bracelets at World Cup

two days before the World Cup In the final, more than two dozen US senators and members of Congress criticized FIFA on Friday for threatening to punish players for wearing “OneLove” armbands in support of LGBTQ rights.

“We understand that the team captains of several European teams competing in the World Cup intended to wear OneLove armbands as a sign of support for LGBTQ+ inclusion and diversity, but were told by FIFA that doing so would result in the issuance of an access code in the game. sanctions (for example, yellow cards)”, read a letter to FIFA President Gianni Infantino. “This is in contrast to the typical monetary fine issued for uniform violations and ultimately discouraged players from adorning their uniforms with the armbands.”

The letter, signed by 30 Democratic lawmakers, accuses FIFA of hypocrisy given its previous promises to combat discrimination. It also raises concerns about reports of World Cup viewers wearing rainbow caps and jerseys in support of LGBTQ rights. arrested, harasseddenied entry to events or have your clothes confiscated during the event, which this year is hosted by Qatar, a country with a terrible record on human rights.

“These actions have culminated in a message to LGBTQ+ people that neither they nor their allies are welcome at the World Cup, contrary to various public statements made about the tournament,” the lawmakers said.

Here is a copy of his letter, which was addressed by Senator Jeff Merkley (Oregon) and Representatives Mark Pocan (Wisconsin), Mark Takano (California) and Ritchie Torres (New York).

The captains of seven European teams I had originally planned to wear OneLove bracelets at a show protesting Qatar’s anti-LGBTQ laws. Same-sex relationships are illegal in the country and, in some cases, are punishable by death. But the players ultimately opted out after FIFA officials threatened to hand out yellow cards to anyone wearing the armband, effectively hampering their ability to advance in the tournament.

“As national associations, we cannot put our players in a position where they can face sporting sanctions, including yellow cards,” the seven soccer federations said. said last month in a joint statement. The teams involved were from England, the Netherlands, Wales, Belgium, Switzerland, Germany and Denmark.

Harry Kane of the England national soccer team wears a ‘No Discrimination’ armband during the World Cup match between England and Iran, after FIFA banned players from wearing a ‘OneLove’ armband in support of of LGBTQ rights.

Socrates Images via Getty Images

On Friday, lawmakers told Infantino they expected a “prompt” response to some questions about future FIFA-sanctioned events.

“To what extent will FIFA consider the government’s record on LGBTQ+ rights when determining where to host future World Cups?” they ask. “Will FIFA commit to consistent future policies regarding player kits; fan clothing, signs and symbols; and other forms of expression that allow people to show their support for the LGBTQ+ community and other marginalized groups?

(The 2026 Men’s World Cup will be hosted in part by the United Stateswith some matches taking place in Florida Y Texasboth of which have incredibly anti-LGBTQ laws on the books).

A FIFA spokesman did not respond to a request for comment in response to the lawmakers’ letter.

The senators on the chart are Ed Markey (Massachusetts), Ron Wyden (Oregon), Tammy Baldwin (Wisconsin), Sheldon Whitehouse (RI), Dick Durbin (Illinois), Richard Blumenthal (Conn.), Elizabeth Warren (Massachusetts), Maria Cantwell (Washington), Patrick Leahy (Vt.), Jack Reed (RI), Cory Booker (NJ), and Merkley.

The House members on the letter are Reps. Lloyd Doggett (Texas), Raul Grijalva (Ariz.), Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton (DC), Suzanne Bonamici (Oregon), David Cicilline (RI), Sara Jacobs (Calif. ), Dina Titus (Nev.), Sharice Davids (Kansas), Dwight Evans (Pa.), Paul Tonko (NY), Jerry Nadler (NY), Nikema Williams (Ga.), Chris Pappas (NH), Angie Craig ( Minn.), Grace Meng (New York), Pocan, Takano, and Torres.

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