FA chief fears ‘sporting sanctions’ as England captain Kane intends to wear ‘OneLove’ armband

England captain Harry Kane wears the OneLove armband Credit: Alamy
England captain Harry Kane wears the OneLove armband Credit: Alamy

England intend to wear the ‘OneLove’ armband at the World Cup in Qatar as the Football Association continue talks with FIFA about potential repercussions ahead of Monday’s opener against Iran.

Harry Kane is among the captains of nine European nations planning to wear the rainbow armbands in a country where same-sex relationships are criminalised.

The FA is prepared to be fined over the issue and reiterated its decision to where the ‘OneLove’ armband against discrimination despite FIFA announcing plans for its own band on the eve of the tournament.

It has been reported that wearing the armband could lead to an immediate booking before a ball is kicked, which could potentially cause havoc as two yellow cards lead to a one-match ban.

The FA is seeking clarification with football’s world governing body on the matter over a stance Kane and manager Gareth Southgate are fully behind.

England skipper Kane said: “I think we’ve made it clear as a team and a staff and organisation that we want to wear the armband.

“I know the FA are talking to FIFA at the moment, and I’m sure by game-time tomorrow they will have their decision. But, yeah, I think we’ve made it clear that we want to wear it.”

Asked for his opinion given the apparent threat of a yellow card, boss Southgate added: “There’s nothing I can add to what Harry has said.

“I know there are some conversations going on. I think a number of European countries have spoken.

“We’ve made our position clear, so hopefully everything will be resolved before the game.”

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Discussions remain ongoing hours before the Three Lions get their World Cup campaign underway against Iran.

FA chief executive Mark Bullingham told BBC Radio 4 on Monday morning: “It is a very live situation and there are discussions that are carrying on. We are working through those issues right now.

“It is true to say that FIFA did indicate yesterday that there could be sporting sanctions and that’s something which we’ve got to work through.

“We’ve been clear that we want to wear the armband, it is important to us, but equally we need to work through all of the discussions right now and see where we end up.

“We would need to consider the implications. Normally in this kind of situation there would be a fine that would be paid and we’ve always said we would be happy to do that – happy might be the wrong word, but we would be prepared to pay the fine because we think it is important to show our support for inclusion.

“If the sporting sanctions threat is real then we need have to look at that an we would need to step back and see if there is another way in which we could show our values.”

As of Monday morning, FIFA had no update to offer when contacted.

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