World Cup 2022

Pundit Alex Scott Sports ‘OneLove' Armband Amid Qatar Opposition

BBC pundit Alex Scott wore a “OneLove” armband supporting the LGBTQ+ community despite threats from the FA

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BBC pundit Alex Scott sported a "OneLove" armband on air in support of the LGBTQ+ community ahead of England's opening World Cup match against Iran on Monday.

England had turned down wearing the armband in Qatar to prevent any in-game sanctions against captain Harry Kane after FIFA threatened to hand out yellow cards.

Along with England, other European teams have followed suit, including Wales, Belgium, German, Switzerland and Netherlands.

The heart-shaped multi-colored "OneLove" movement was created to promote inclusion and diversity in soccer and society but was frowned upon when host country Qatar saw the movement as an attack against its human rights record and criminalization of same-sex relationships.

The former English professional soccer player has been vocal about her feelings towards Qatar's treatment of the LGBTQ+ community leading up to the World Cup.

In September, Scott confirmed that she is in a relationship with former Arsenal teammate Kelly Smith, saying she has fallen "madly and deeply in love."

FIFA released a statement ahead of the World Cup, stating that “the captain of each team must wear the captain’s armband provided by FIFA.”

“FIFA has been very clear that it will impose sporting sanctions if our captains wear the armbands on the field of play,” the teams said in their statement. “As national federations, we can’t put our players in a position where they could face sporting sanctions including bookings, so we have asked the captains not to attempt to wear the armbands in FIFA World Cup games.

“We were prepared to pay fines that would normally apply to breaches of kit regulations and had a strong commitment to wearing the armband. However, we cannot put our players in the situation where they might be booked or even forced to leave the field of play.

“We are very frustrated by the FIFA decision which we believe is unprecedented -- we wrote to FIFA in September informing them of our wish to wear the One Love armband to actively support inclusion in football, and had no response. Our players and coaches are disappointed -- they are strong supporters of inclusion and will show support in other ways.”

European teams were permitted to sport "OneLove" armbands at the UEFA Nations League earlier this year.
England went on to defeat Iran in a Group B showdown 6-2 on Monday.

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