FIFA opts out of rainbow armband for WWC

The anti-discrimination “OneLove” captain’s armband banned at the men’s World Cup in Qatar will be worn in an amended version at the Women’s World Cup next month, although FIFA opted out entirely of the rainbow that is known as a symbol for LGBTQIA+ pride.

FIFA unveiled eight armbands Friday that captains of the 32 teams can choose to wear in Australia and New Zealand during the tournament that runs July 20-Aug. 20.

Women’s World Cup bracket and fixtures schedule

The OneLove armband, with its red/black/green/pink/yellow/blue color scheme, is similar to but not the same as the rainbow that is known as a symbol of LGBTQIA+ pride. The OneLove armband was worn by captains during the women’s European Championships in 2022.

This “Unite for Inclusion” option chosen is heart-shaped and multicolored but not quite the rainbow the Germany team wanted to use at the tournament, where a number of gay players will be among more than 700 selected on team rosters.

FIFA said this multicolored option was influenced by the Pan-African flag and pansexual flag.

The armbands were developed over months of talks with national federations as FIFA aimed to avoid repeating the chaotic standoff with European players and officials last year that spilled into the first two days of games in Qatar.

FIFA said Friday the inclusion option was worked on with the United Nations human rights office in Geneva.

The eight armband designs chosen correspond to the eight rounds of matches at the tournament. Each will promote awareness of a cause under the theme of “Football Unites the World.”

The captains will be given three options for which armband they wear.

They can either wear the Football Unites the World armband throughout, an armband corresponding to one of the eight causes, or they can wear the armband allocated for each round.

The eight themes chosen by FIFA and the 32 nations are:

Unite for Inclusion — in partnership with UN Human Rights
Unite for Indigenous Peoples — in partnership with UN Human Rights
Unite for Gender Equality — in partnership with UN Women
Unite for Peace — in partnership with UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency
Unite for Education for All — in partnership with the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO)
Unite for Zero Hunger — in partnership with the UN World Food Programme
Unite for Ending Violence Against Women — in partnership with UN Women
Football is Joy, Peace, Love, Hope & Passion — in partnership with the World Health Organization (WHO)

These themes will also be promoted on specific matchdays with the messages being broadcast on advertising hoardings and flags inside the stadiums.

“[Football] can shine the spotlight on very important causes in our society,” Infantino said in a statement.

“After some very open talks with stakeholders, including member associations and players, we have decided to highlight a series of social causes — from inclusion to gender equality, from peace to ending hunger, from education to tackling domestic violence — during all 64 matches at the FIFA Women’s World Cup.”

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.

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