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FIFA World Cup: Armband ban prompts European teams to consider legal options

Click to play video: 'Politics dampening enthusiasm for Qatar-hosted FIFA World Cup'
Politics dampening enthusiasm for Qatar-hosted FIFA World Cup
WATCH: Politics dampening enthusiasm for Qatar-hosted FIFA World Cup – Nov 21, 2022

The seven countries that were prevented by FIFA from wearing ‘OneLove’ armbands during the World Cup in Qatar are jointly considering their legal options, the Dutch football association (KNVB) said on Wednesday.

Global soccer governing body FIFA threatened to book any player wearing the armband, which was introduced to support diversity and inclusion.

Read more: House of Commons condemns FIFA’s threat of penalties for World Cup protest armbands

England, Wales, Belgium, the Netherlands, Switzerland, Germany and Denmark said they backed down from their plans to wear the armband as a result.

Instead, Germany’s players placed their hands over their mouths in a symbolic protest during a team photo ahead of their 2-1 loss to Japan on Wednesday.

Click to play video: 'FIFA World Cup: LGBTQ+ treatment raises concern over human rights records'
FIFA World Cup: LGBTQ+ treatment raises concern over human rights records

The KNVB, however, said the seven nations would not be taking the dispute to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS).

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“All seven countries whose captains would have played with the ‘OneLove’ captain’s armband have jointly taken the decision not to go to the CAS at this time,” the KNVB said.

“However, we are jointly considering our legal position. We remain 100 per cent behind ‘OneLove’ and its message… We are therefore continuing the ‘OneLove’ campaign, at home and abroad.

“Previously, the captains of the Netherlands and nine other countries played with the ‘OneLove’ armband on during Nations League matches. These fall under (European soccer body) UEFA and this caused no problems.”

Read more: FIFA World Cup: Armband ban restrains ‘freedom of expression,’ sport minister says

Homosexuality is illegal in Qatar and the country’s organizers of the tournament have warned visitors against public displays of affection.

But they also said that everyone, no matter their sexual orientation or background, is welcome at the event which is being held in the Middle East for the first time.

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