Fifa Introduces New Armbands for Women’s World Cup, Bans Original LGBTQ+ One Love Armband

Fifa, the world governing body of football, has announced that the pro-LGBTQ+ One Love armband will remain prohibited at the Women’s World Cup finals. However, Fifa has introduced its own version of a similar-looking armband with the same color scheme, which will be permitted to be worn by captains during the tournament.

In a move viewed by some as a significant compromise, Fifa has released eight different campaign armbands for the 32-team competition in Australia and New Zealand. The first armband, named ‘unite for inclusion,’ features a love heart with the same colors as the One Love armband, but it does not include the word ‘love.’ Despite this gesture, Fifa’s broader regulations remain unchanged, and teams would still face sporting sanctions if they wore any other armbands during matches. Many critics argue that Fifa’s measures do not go far enough in showing support for the LGBTQ+ community.

During the men’s World Cup, England’s captain, Harry Kane, had planned to wear the One Love armband, along with several other European captains. However, the Football Association (FA) advised Kane against it after Fifa threatened sporting sanctions. The FA has been contacted for a response regarding Fifa’s release of the eight campaign armbands. Prior to Fifa’s announcement, England midfielder Georgia Stanway expressed the team’s commitment to their cause, regardless of the outcome.

Fifa’s objective for the tournament is to “highlight social causes,” and they have chosen eight topics in consultation with players, football associations, and the United Nations. The permitted armbands labeled as follows:

  1. Unite for inclusion
  2. Unite for indigenous peoples
  3. Unite for gender equality
  4. Unite for peace
  5. Unite for education for all
  6. Unite for zero hunger
  7. Unite for ending violence against women
  8. Football is joy, peace, love, hope, and passion
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Participating teams can choose to wear one armband per match or select one of the above armbands for their captain to wear throughout the tournament.

Fifa President Gianni Infantino emphasized the power of football to unite people and expressed the organization’s commitment to promoting social causes during all 64 matches of the Women’s World Cup.

Before the tournament, England will face Portugal in a warm-up friendly on Saturday to assess their readiness. They will be missing captain Millie Bright due to a knee injury, while midfielder Jordan Nobbs will also be absent. However, Manchester City defender Alex Greenwood has been declared fit to play.

Head coach Sarina Wiegman acknowledged Portugal’s technical abilities and their unpredictable style of play, highlighting the challenge it poses for England. This match will serve as a crucial preparation before England flies to Australia on July 5 to begin their World Cup campaign with a match against Haiti in Brisbane on July 22.

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