Eight teams will wear the OneLove armband during the Qatar World Cup

The OneLove campaign aims to promote inclusivity and fight discrimination in the sport. Eight teams from Europe will wear the band during the World Cup in November.

Harry Kane pictured on the left wearing the OneLove Campaign armband with a close up of the armband on the right

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.”

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