Comedian Jon Richardson blasts England U-turn a "f****** farce" with diving point – The Mirror
England captain Harry Kane didn’t wear the OneLove armband in the Three Lions’ opening World Cup match against Iran due to fears over getting a yellow card before kick-off
Jon Richardson has slammed England's decision not to wear the OneLove armband after FIFA confirmed sanctions would be taken against a player wearing it.
The rainbow armband was due to be worn to promote diversity and inclusion in Qatar, where same-sex relationships are outlawed. However, the Three Lions performed a U-Turn and announced just hours before their World Cup opener against Iran that Harry Kane wouldn't be wearing the LGBTQ+ armband due to the potential risk of getting a yellow card.
Wales, Denmark and Netherlands were amongst the other nations set to wear the OneLove armband, but, like England, confirmed they also wouldn't be taking that risk. An instant yellow card at the start of each of the first two group games would put the likes of Kane out of the third match – something they couldn't risk.
But the decision has been criticised by many pundits and supporters, with comedian Richardson becoming the latest to have his say after Alex Scott sent a powerful message live on the BBC. The 40-year-old claimed that a booking stops players from "showing solidarity" to the LGBTQ+ community.
He said on Twitter : "The threat of a yellow card doesn’t stop players diving, fouling or abusing referees but it has stopped them showing solidarity with those who are threatened with death for being in love. What an absolute f****** farce."
Despite not wearing the armband, the FA did slam FIFA for how they dealt with the situation, while Wales also hit out at the decision after they confirmed they would no longer be wearing the armband. England revealed how "frustrated" they were by the timing and the decision in general.
A statement read on Monday morning: "FIFA has been very clear that it will impose sporting sanctions if our captains wear the armbands on the field of play. 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 One Love 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."
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