FIFA has threatened to impose sporting sanctions on European countries, who are planning to protest against Qatari government during the 2022 World Cup campaign.
England, Belgium, Denmark, France, Germany, Wales, Switzerland and Netherlands confirmed their intentions to protest against the Middle Eastern nation’s stance on same-sex relationships by wearing the one love armbands.
According to a joint statement issued on Monday, the involved football associations have backed down from the planned protests after FIFA warned them of possible sanctions.
“FIFA has been very clear that it will impose sporting sanctions if our captains wear the armbands on the field of play,” the statement said.
“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 OneLove 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.”
The development comes just days after FIFA President Gianni Infantino launched a tirade on the European countries who are criticising Qatar.
Infantino accused the Europeans of double standards and claimed the critics are deliberately misrepresenting the host nation.
“This criticism is profoundly unjust,” the Swiss football boss said.
“You don’t start accusing, fighting, insulting. You start engaging.
“We have heard many moral lessons from Europe and the western world.
“What we Europeans have been doing for the last 3000 years, we should be apologizing for the next 3000 years before starting to give moral lessons.”