Football

Muslim nations ‘proposed Islamophobia World Cup armband – but were told it would break FIFA rules’

Muslim nations ‘proposed Islamophobia World Cup armband in style of Palestinian headscarf – but were told it would break FIFA rules’

  • Officials from Qatar and other Muslim-majority nations were in ‘advanced’ discussions about football captains wearing anti-Islamophobia armbands
  • The teams had already designed the armband, which featured the words ‘No place for Islamophobia’ with a Palestinian headscarf pattern
  • But FIFA said the armbands would breach their rules, it has been claimed
  • Click here for the latest World Cup 2022 news, fixtures, live action and results

Muslim nations proposed a World Cup armband in the style of a Palestinian headscarf to raise awareness of Islamophobia but they were told it would break FIFA’s rules, it has been claimed.

Officials from World Cup host Qatar and other Muslim-majority nations were in ‘advanced’ discussions about captains from countries including Saudi Arabia and Morocco wearing the armbands, it is understood.

The teams had already designed the armband, which featured the words ‘No place for Islamophobia’ with a Palestinian headscarf pattern. 

But when they discussed introducing the armbands with FIFA, the officials were told it would breach the world governing body’s rules, reports Sky News.

Muslim nations proposed a World Cup armband in the style of a Palestinian headscarf to raise awareness of Islamophobia but they were told it would break FIFA's rules, it has been claimed

Muslim nations proposed a World Cup armband in the style of a Palestinian headscarf to raise awareness of Islamophobia but they were told it would break FIFA’s rules, it has been claimed

A Qatari official said the teams, including Qatar, Saudi Arabia and Morocco, were ‘disappointed’ by the decision.

A senior Qatari official told Sky News: ‘Prior to the start of the tournament, Qatar, and some of the other Muslim-majority teams, were in advanced discussions regarding whether the players could wear armbands raising awareness for the growing movement of Islamophobia.

‘When the armband proposal was eventually discussed with FIFA, they were told that it violated FIFA’s rules and would not be allowed.

‘The teams accepted the decision but were disappointed that an important issue such as this, which negatively impacts the millions of Muslims around the world, was not being given a platform during the first World Cup to be hosted in a Muslim-majority region.’

But FIFA cast doubt on the Qatari official’s claim, saying it was not aware of any proposal about the armbands. MailOnline has contacted FIFA for a further comment.

The dispute over armbands has dominated much of the World Cup after FIFA threatened England captain Harry Kane and other World Cup captains with severe sanctions if they wore their anti-discrimination OneLove armbands on the pitch. 

England’s football team had been planning to wear the LGBTQ+ armband along with six other European teams such as Germany and Denmark at the Qatar World Cup before FIFA threatened to hand out yellow cards to players. 

But last month, it emerged that the sanctions would have been much harsher than first thought.

The dispute over armbands has dominated much of the World Cup after FIFA threatened England captain Harry Kane and other World Cup captains with severe sanctions if they wore their anti-discrimination OneLove armbands on the pitch

The dispute over armbands has dominated much of the World Cup after FIFA threatened England captain Harry Kane and other World Cup captains with severe sanctions if they wore their anti-discrimination OneLove armbands on the pitch

Kane, Wales captain Gareth Bale and the other five skippers would have been prevented from entering the pitch wearing the OneLove armband, it is understood.

The German Football Association (DFB) claimed last month that England and other teams were faced with ‘extreme blackmail’ or ‘massive sanctions’ that led to them dropping the gesture. 

Since being awarded the World Cup hosting rights in 2010, the conservative Muslim nation Qatar has faced a raft of criticism, especially for its criminalisation of homosexuality. 

Now it has emerged that Qatar wanted to introduce its own anti-Islamophobia armband with other Muslim-majority nations such as Morocco and Saudi Arabia. The move was also banned by FIFA, it has been claimed.

Some football fans from the Muslim-majority nations said it was a missed opportunity to not include the armbands. 

‘I think it’s something very nice, because what people think about Islam is pretty bad around the world,’ Yusef, a pilot from Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, told Sky News.

‘So it’s actually something nice that people actually change their thoughts and… it was a perfect idea.’

But another Muslim fan, Yazeed, said it was right for FIFA to ban the anti-Islamophobia armband, saying it was ‘the best way to keep everything just focused on the whole sport’.


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