Eight European football teams will wear armbands from the OneLove campaign to promote inclusivity during the Qatar World Cup. When the tournament begins in November, the Netherlands, England, Belgium, Denmark, France, Germany, Switzerland and Wales teams will all wear the OneLove symbol during World Cup matches.
The multi-coloured armband represents all backgrounds, genders and sexual identities. The Netherlands Football Association is leading this campaign, to fight discrimination in the sport. Fans and teams alike have been criticising the state of LGBTQ+ rights in the country ahead of the World Cup in November.
In Qatar, consensual gay or lesbian sex is considered a criminal offence, punishable by up to three years in prison. As well as that, a report from the US State Department last year revealed that homosexuality is punishable by death under Shariah law. Although according to the Washington Post, there were no reports of executions in Qatar.
In an interview with BBC Sport, England football captain Harry Kane spoke about his involvement in the campaign: “I am honoured to join my fellow national team captains in supporting the important OneLove campaign,” he said on Tuesday.
“As captains, we may all be competing against each other on the pitch, but we stand together against all forms of discrimination. This is even more relevant at a time when division is common in society. Wearing the armband together on behalf of our teams will send a clear message when the world is watching.”
The campaign has produced critical reactions online, with many social media users saying that teams should pull out of the World Cup entirely. One user wrote: “Pulling out of the World Cup? Which is being held in a country where homosexuality is illegal. If not. Then this is a totally pointless gesture.”
The Athletic editor Alex Kay-Jelski wrote: “Wow, that OneLove armband is something else. Find it all truly insulting,” adding: “Would rather nothing was done than that.”
At a human rights congress hosted by the German soccer federation in Frankfurt last Monday, Qatari Ambassador Abdulla bin Mohammed bin Saud Al Thani faced an appeal from fan representative Dario Minden regarding LGBTQ+ rights in Qatar.
Minden said: “I’m a man and I love men.
“I do — please don’t be shocked — have sex with other men. This is normal. So please get used to it, or stay out of football. Because the most important rule in football is that football is for everyone. It doesn’t matter if you’re lesbian if you’re gay. It’s for everyone. For the boys. For the girls. And for everyone in between.”
© 2022 GCN (Gay Community News). All rights reserved.
GCN has been a vital, free-of-charge information service for Ireland’s LGBTQ+ community since 1988.
During this global COVID pandemic, we like many other organisations have been impacted greatly in the way we can do business and produce. This means a temporary pause to our print publication and live events and so now more than ever we need your help to continue providing this community resource digitally.
GCN is a registered charity with a not-for-profit business model and we need your support. If you value having an independent LGBTQ+ media in Ireland, you can help from as little as €1.99 per month. Support Ireland’s free, independent LGBTQ+ media.
comments. Please sign in to comment.