World Cup: England could withdraw from FIFA with Denmark over OneLove armband row in Qatar | Football | Sport
Chairman of the Danish FA, Jesper Moller, claims that discussions are underway regarding a blanket withdrawal from FIFA over how the governing body handled the OneLove campaign at the World Cup. England could yet be involved as Moller claims that talks are likely to be held with FIFA members to see if anyone would be willing to take collective action.
Harry Kane was among the captains who planned to wear the rainbow-coloured OneLove armband in support of LGBTQ+ rights. Homosexuality is illegal in host nation Qatar and there have been reports of rainbow shirts and hats confiscated on entry into stadiums.
FIFA threatened an immediate yellow card, or worse, to captains who went ahead with the OneLove armband against their advice. The back-and-forth unfolded on the eve of England’s opening match against Iran, although England had sought answers regarding potential consequences long before that.
In a joint statement England, Denmark, Wales, Belgium, Germany, the Netherlands and Switzerland backed down from the armband campaign for fear of sporting repercussions. Many have still chosen to point the finger at FIFA, however, for threatening to punish those that went ahead with the protest.
In a press conference held on Wednesday morning, Moller withdrew Denmark’s support for FIFA president Gianni Infantino and pledged to hold talks with other member nations in an effort to stand up against how the situation was handled.
“There are presidential elections in FIFA,” he explained. “There are 211 countries in FIFA and I understand that the current president [Infantino] has statements of support from 207 countries. Denmark is not among those countries. And we’re not going to be either.
“[Leaving FIFA] is not a decision that has been made now. We have been clear about this for a long time. We have been discussing it in the Nordic region since August. I’ve thought it again. I imagine that there may be challenges if Denmark leaves on its own. But let us see if we cannot have a dialogue on things.
“I have to think about the question of how to restore confidence in FIFA. We must evaluate what has happened, and then we must create a strategy – also with our Nordic colleagues.”
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