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England accused of ‘folding’ their principles in ‘weak’ support of LGBTQ rights in Qatar | Football | Sport


On their first game against Iran on Monday, the Three Lions roared to success with a 6-2 win. Within the host nation, Qatar, homosexuality is prohibited which caused outrage for Western fans hoping to enjoy themselves on the games but were warned by the UK Foreign Secretary to respect the culture of the hosts.

In response, the England team together with six other nations were planning to wear OneLove anti-hate LGBTQ+ armbands featuring a rainbow love heart to point out solidarity.

Nevertheless, just three hours ahead of England’s first game on Monday, FIFA announced that players couldn’t wear the controversial armband.

The U-turn was decided after FIFA threatened to book team Captains with a right away yellow card in the event that they selected to wear it.

England Captain Harry Kane said: “We’re dissatisfied. We desired to wear it, that call was taken out of my hands.”

Ruth Davidson, MP for the Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party, spoke to ITV’s Peston in regards to the U-turn on wearing the OneLove armbands.

The LGBTQ+ MP said: “I’ve a whole lot of respect for Gareth Southgate…but for those who’re going to make a song and dance about doing something on a degree of principle you have got to follow it through, even when it costs you a yellow card.”

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

She added: “They made such a song and dance about this being a matter of principle.

“Well, in case your principles fold as soon as they may cost you something as big as a yellow card, then how deep are they felt?”

The MP noted the actions of the Iranian team who refused to sing their national anthem on Monday as a result of the continued protests over the death of Mahsa Amini which have killed at the least 419 people.

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Ms Davidson said that in contrast, the actions of Iran on the World Cup which “could cost them an enormous amount, personally, when it comes to their safety and their families…was bravery that was off the charts.”

On Monday when Wales faced the USA of their first World Cup game since 1958, Welsh fans wearing rainbow-colored bucket hats had them confiscated or were told that they had to be removed.

The incident saw FIFA and Qatar hold urgent talks as FIFA told the hosts that that they had assured them that every one members of the football community could be welcome, as would rainbow flags.

The FAW announced there “extreme disappointment” within the incident and said that “the FAW has collated information on these alleged incidents and shall be addressing this matter directly with FIFA”.

On Wednesday, Germany suffered a shocking defeat against Japan who won 2-1 however the European team staged a protest against FIFA for his or her handling of the armband U-turn.

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Germany’s players covered their mouths with their hands in an indication that they felt that “FIFA is silencing us”.

The Football Association was criticised by England fan James Fogarty, 39, who told PA news agency: “FIFA has sold out, right, and FIFA have sold out to the Qatari royalty too.

“They’re clearly not running the show, the Qataris are running the show and that’s unlucky.”

In response to concerns from LGBTQ+ fans and allies planning on attending games, Foreign Secretary James Cleverly assured them that he has held “difficult conversations” with the Qataris.

He said: “I’ve made it clear that we feel very strongly about this issue and really one in every of the benefits about having a robust relationship with other countries is you may have these difficult conversations.

“The Qataris understand how seriously we take this issue they usually have taken real steps to be certain that gay football fans are protected and do feel secure and may benefit from the football.”

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