‘Extreme blackmail’ forces unions to give up armbands


Football associations planning to wear ‘Onelove’ armbands to make a statement against discrimination during the World Cup in Qatar have faced “extreme blackmail”, leading to abandon the planned actionthe German Football Association (DFB) said on Tuesday.

federation of england, wales, belgiumThe Netherlands, Switzerland, Germany And Denmark said on Monday that FIFA had put pressure on him threatened to issue yellow card For any player wearing multicolored armbands.

Homosexuality is illegal in the Gulf state.

DFB media director Stephan Simon told German Deutschlandfunk radio that England, the first team, was expected to wear it on Monday in their game against. IranSeveral sporting bans were threatened.

“The tournament director went to the English team and talked about numerous rule violations and threatened large-scale playing sanctions without specifying what,” he said.

Simon, who did not specify whether he was referring to local organizers or FIFA in his reference to the tournament director, said the other six nations decided to “show solidarity” and not wear it.

He said, “We lost the armlet and it is very painful but we are the same people we were before with the same values. We are not hypocrites who claim they have values ​​and then betray them.”

“We were in an extreme situation, under extreme blackmail and we thought we had to make a decision even though we didn’t want to.”

The English team did not want to comment on the matter. FIFA did not immediately respond to Reuters when asked for comment. Local organizers were also contacted.

The reaction to DFB’s U-turn in Germany has been one of sharp criticism, with supermarket chain REWE abandoning its deal with DFB.

The federation’s reputation has suffered in recent years, with four former presidents resigning or being ostracized amid corruption charges and other scandals.

Simon said, “I can understand the frustration. We had the choice between plague and cholera.”

Iran’s national team will play its anthem ahead of its first World Cup match on Monday as European nations decide to ditch armbands in a sign of support for the violent state crackdown on mass protests and unrest in their country. refused.

“We have a lot of respect for what the Iranian team did yesterday,” Simon said. “We feel with Iranian women. Yes, we don’t have a symbol anymore but we still hold on to the values ​​associated with this symbol.”

“The DFB is in a fundamental opposition within FIFA,” he said.

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