England, the Netherlands, Belgium, Denmark, Germany, Switzerland and Wales are set to take part in the ‘OneLove’ campaign to promote inclusion and oppose discrimination.
But the associations of those countries said in a statement on Monday that the driving armband – which features a heart striped in different colors to represent all heritages, backgrounds, genders and sexual identities – will not be worn in Qatar.
“FIFA has been very clear that it will impose sporting sanctions if our captains wear armbands on the field of play,” the joint statement read.
“As national federations, we cannot put our players in a position where they can face sporting penalties including booking, 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 breaches of the equipment regulations and we have a strong obligation to wear the armband. However, we cannot put our players in a situation where they might be booked or even forced off the pitch.”
The decision not to display the captaincy in Qatar comes hours before England’s opening match against Iran, while Wales face the United States and the Netherlands with Senegal later on Monday.
The nations said they were “disappointed” by what they called FIFA’s “unprecedented” decision to sanction captains for wearing the captain’s armband.
“We wrote to FIFA in September to inform them of our desire to wear the One Love badge to actively support integration into football, and have received no response. Our players and coaches are disappointed – they are strong supporters of inclusion and will show support in other ways,” the statement continued.
In preparation for the World Cup, Qatar – where Homosexuality is illegal and punishable by up to three years in prison She has been criticized for her stance on the rights of the LGBT community.
However, the country has repeatedly insisted that “everyone is welcome” at the tournament.
France have been part of the season-long run, but last week captain Hugo Lloris told reporters he would “respect” the local culture during the tournament.
Meanwhile, the Dutch Football Association said on Monday that it was “very disappointed” that team captain Virgil van Dijk would receive a yellow card if he wore the captain’s armband on the pitch.
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