World Cup: FIFA ‘accused’ of taking revenge on Premier League referees after crackdown | Football | Sport

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FIFA are reportedly arousing suspicion that they may be snubbing referees from countries that planned to wear the OneLove armband in Qatar. Top officials from England, Germany and the Netherlands are yet to take charge of their first 2022 World Cup matches, despite every team having played at least once. 

The trio of countries in question were joined by Wales, Belgium, Denmark and Switzerland in hoping to wear the rainbow-coloured OneLove armband in Qatar to promote LGBTQ+ rights. Homosexuality is illegal in the host nation and there have been reports of fans seeing rainbow-coloured items confiscated before heading into stadiums. 

All seven nations backed out of the protest at the last minute under the threat of sporting action from FIFA. Harry Kane, and indeed the other captains involved, would supposedly have received an immediate yellow card, or worse, for every match in which they wore the armband. 

The German national team made a clear gesture to address the situation before their defeat to Japan earlier this week as they posed for a group photo while covering their mouths.

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FIFA now stand accused of snubbing referees from ‘OneLove nations’ as the highly-rated Premier League duo of Michael Oliver and Anthony Taylor, as well as Germany’s Daniel Siebert and Dutchman Danny Makkelie, are yet to take charge of a 2022 World Cup match. 

According to The Daily Mail, that has ‘raised eyebrows’ in refereeing circles as none of the quartet have even fulfilled fourth official duties in Qatar. FIFA later confirmed that Siebert would take charge of Tunisia vs Australia this weekend but Taylor, Oliver and Makkelie continue to wait for their first assignment. 

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Certain circles have grown suspicious over a noticeable trend at the Qatar World Cup.

 FIFA are reportedly arousing suspicion that they may be snubbing referees from countries that planned to wear the OneLove armband in Qatar. Top officials from England, Germany and the Netherlands are yet to take charge of their first 2022 World Cup matches, despite every team having played at least once. 

 

The trio of countries in question were joined by Wales, Belgium, Denmark and Switzerland in hoping to wear the rainbow-coloured OneLove armband in Qatar to promote LGBTQ+ rights. Homosexuality is illegal in the host nation and there have been reports of fans seeing rainbow-coloured items confiscated before heading into stadiums. 

All seven nations backed out of the protest at the last minute under the threat of sporting action from FIFA. Harry Kane, and indeed the other captains involved, would supposedly have received an immediate yellow card, or worse, for every match in which they wore the armband. 

The German national team made a clear gesture to address the situation before their defeat to Japan earlier this week as they posed for a group photo while covering their mouths. 

FIFA now stand accused of snubbing referees from ‘OneLove nations’ as the highly-rated Premier League duo of Michael Oliver and Anthony Taylor, as well as Germany’s Daniel Siebert and Dutchman Danny Makkelie, are yet to take charge of a 2022 World Cup match. 

According to The Daily Mail, that has ‘raised eyebrows’ in refereeing circles as none of the quartet have even fulfilled fourth official duties in Qatar. FIFA later confirmed that Siebert would take charge of Tunisia vs Australia this weekend but Taylor, Oliver and Makkelie continue to wait for their first assignment. 

FIFA’s handling of the OneLove debacle has sparked an angry reaction among some football fans, who broadly feel that threatening action against those who wore the armband was equivalent to an effort against the promotion of tolerance. Jamie Carragher called on Kane to wear the armband regardless, while fellow England hero Gary Neville suggested that the coaching staff could share it around from one game to the next, negating the threat of a suspension. 

Authorities in Denmark were particularly opposed to the decision and Danish FA chief Jesper Moller publicly withdrew the country’s support for FIFA president Gianni Infantino, who plans to stand unopposed in the next election. 

“There are presidential elections in FIFA,” he added. “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.”

“[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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