Harry Kane did not wear the Vanlove bracelet against Iran (Nick Potts/PA) (PA Wire)
England captain Harry Kane could face tougher penalties than a yellow card for wearing a ‘OneLove’ bracelet in their World Cup opener against Iran after manager Gareth Southgate said the team would support the LGBTQ+ community. is committed to.
Southgate would not rule out urging his England team to highlight human rights issues in Qatar, as other countries have done, but says they will not be pressured to do so.
The German team covered their faces for a team photo ahead of their opening match against Japan on Wednesday, while the Australian team released a video highlighting the host nation’s troubles.
The seven European countries participating in the World Cup – including Germany, England and Wales – planned to wear anti-discrimination OneLove bracelets during the tournament, but were prevented from doing so due to the threat of sporting sanctions from FIFA.
The PA news agency understands that the sporting penalty for Kane – as well as Wales captain Gareth Bale and other nations who have signed up for the campaign – would have been more severe than a yellow card if he had worn the Vanlove armband.
The booking was also said to have been issued in the dressing room before kick-off, meaning the captain couldn’t see this as an opportunity to show an act of defiance by wearing the armband.
Southgate said: “I don’t know all the aspects because I wasn’t at the meeting, but it certainly felt like there were limitations and they weren’t all really clear.”
That’s not to say we won’t do anything to move forward when the time is right, but I think in our rush to pretend we’re doing something, we might make a mistake that doesn’t look good.
So the decision was taken out of Harry’s hands. The decision of the organization was that we didn’t even wear armbands in the locker room. No discussion, done.
“The player had nothing to say about it. But I don’t know exactly how he felt because I wasn’t at the meeting. It’s not something I want to spend a lot of time on.
“I saw the Danish coach speak after the game and felt he didn’t have enough bandwidth to deal with football. I think that’s the risk we all run.
“There was a plan (before Iran), we were unable to implement that plan. What should we do now? Are we all trying to outdo each other with gestures? No matter how we do it, it probably won’t be enough. Perhaps criticized.
Southgate, whose team will play in their second game against the United States on Friday, said: “I don’t think we should feel any pressure. I think we’ve been talking about these specific topics for over a year and we’ve supported all sorts of good deeds individually or collectively.
“I think there is a risk that everyone is trying to get ahead of, that if we tried to make a better video than Australia it would be impossible; Let’s try to come up with a better quote from Germany.
“I think we should be reassured that we know what we stand for. That’s not to say we won’t do anything to move forward when the time is right, but I think we’ll be seen if we do something.” If we run ahead, we may make a mistake that will not go down well.
“We especially want to support the LGBTQ community and recognize that many people are not here with us, and we wanted them here with us.
We were not too happy about not being able to carry it with the restrictions that might be imposed.
“I understand it will be uncomfortable for people because I may be criticized, the captain will be criticized, the organization will be criticized.”
The PA news agency understands that Germany will not face any disciplinary action from FIFA under Article 11 of the code. It states that anyone who “uses a sporting event for demonstrations of a non-sporting nature” may be penalized.
The OneLove group was said to be considering legal options, but the German Football Association confirmed that no appeal had been lodged with the Court of Arbitration for Sport on Thursday morning.
Bell acknowledged that Wales had been deeply affected by FIFA’s decision on the bracelet, but added that they would not like to see protests like in Germany.
“Yes, we were not very happy that we couldn’t carry it despite the restrictions that could have been imposed,” the Wales captain told a press conference ahead of Friday’s game with Iran.
“I know people have said we should have just worn it, but I would have been sent off after about 25 minutes. Of course we support it, but we are here to play football at the same time.
“Not wearing a bracelet doesn’t mean we don’t support it. We are all for equality and we are trying to do the right thing, create awareness.
“When it comes to doing something different, I think when teams try to do something different and the result isn’t going in the right direction, they get criticized for us for not focusing on football now that the tournament has started, so we have to really focused.” Football itself. If there is anything outside of sport that we can do to raise awareness or support, we certainly will.
“Our campaigns are underway which we as a union and as a Welsh Government fully support. I want my players to focus exclusively on playing football and winning matches. I’m sure Germany probably has the same message right now.