England seek FIFA clarification amid claim captains wearing OneLove armbands at the World Cup could be booked

 (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

The FA are seeking urgent clarification from FIFA over the potential consequences of Harry Kane wearing the ‘OneLove’ armband in Monday’s World Cup opener against Iran, following reports that players who wear it could be booked before kick-off.

The FA had previously been adamant that captain Kane would wear the rainbow-coloured, anti-discrimination armband in Qatar even if it meant accepting a fine from FIFA, who have not approved the garment.

A number of European nations wrote to FIFA in September to indicate they planned to wear the armband promoting inclusivity and LGBTQ+ rights for the rest of 2022 but the world governing body did not respond.

A report in German publication Bild on Sunday indicated that Germany were now reconsidering the move after learning skipper Manuel Neuer could be booked before the start of matches in Qatar for breaching FIFA’s equipment rules.

At major tournaments, two yellow cards result in a one-match ban, so Kane would theoretically miss England’s final group game against Wales and a potential semi-final if FIFA punished wearing the OneLove armband with a pre-match booking.

Speaking on the eve of their opening group game against Iran at the Khalifa International Stadium here in Doha, Kane said: "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. I think we’ve made it clear that we want to wear it.”

England manager Gareth Southgate added: "There’s nothing I can add to what Harry has said, I know there are conversations going on, I think a number of European countries have spoken, we’ve made our position clear, hopefully everything will be resolved before the game."

Earlier on Sunday, Netherlands captain Virgil van Dijk revealed he would have to rethink wearing the armband if it meant playing on a yellow card.

"I will wear the OneLove armband tomorrow [against Senegal]," said the Liverpool centre-half. "Nothing changed from our point of view. If I will get a yellow card for wearing it then we would have to discuss it because I don’t like to play while being on a yellow."

FIFA this week announced its own armband for the World Cup, with a different slogan for each round.

France, who were originally among the nations supporting the OneLove campaign, have since withdrawn, with captain Hugo Lloris planning to wear FIFA’s armband at the finals.