FIFA could ban the use of rainbow armbands at Women’s World Cup

Publish Date
Thursday, 30 March 2023, 5:10PM

By Tom Garry

The Women’s Football World Cup in Australia and New Zealand is the latest tournament to find itself at the centre of the debate on whether players are allowed to wear the One Love armband.

There was controversy at the men’s World Cup in Qatar last year when England men’s captain Harry Kane was set to wear the pro-LGBTQ+ armband, alongside several other European captains. But, after the threat of sporting sanctions from Fifa, the Football Association told Kane not to wear it.

The world governing body’s regulations would result in sanctions imposed if any player chose to wear the One Love armband instead of Fifa’s own. However, Fifa has not yet ruled out changing its rules ahead of the Women’s World Cup, which starts on July 20.

Reports in German newspaper Bild yesterday said that the nation’s women’s team had been told the rainbow armband had been banned by Fifa for this year’s tournament.

“Fifa has informed us that they want all participating nations to wear the Fifa captain’s armband with the Fifa campaign,” Germany team manager Maika Fischer told Bild.

In response, a Fifa spokesperson told Telegraph Sport: “At a team workshop today, Fifa was asked about equipment and competition regulations in relation to the 2023 Fifa Women’s World Cup.

”Fifa wishes to reiterate that no decision has been taken in relation to armbands. Fifa remains committed to ongoing dialogue with players and member associations.”

National associations are understood to have been told at the workshop that the rules have not yet changed, but there has been the promise of further dialogue until the start of the tournament.

Europe’s governing body, Uefa, approved the use of the rainbow armband at last year’s Euros and Lionesses captain Leah Williamson also wore the One Love armband for the Arnold Clark Cup last month, an event for which Fifa could not impose sanctions. It is understood Williamson will also wear the armband for next month’s friendlies against Brazil and Australia.

”We’re never shy in saying what we stand for,” Williamson said last month. “We’re trying to have a positive influence on society and [wearing the armband] is one of the ways we can do that.”

This article was first published on and is republished here with permission

Take your Radio, Podcasts and Music with you