Women's World Cup: FIFA unveils captains' armbands, sanctions LGBTQIA+ motifs
A range of socio-political causes are featured, but sadly for a Pride Month announcement, a specific LGBTQ motif and "One Love" remain banned
Team captains at the upcoming Women's World Cup in Australia and New Zealand will have a choice of armbands to wear, highlighting a number of different social campaigns, FIFA announced on Friday, 30 June.
Skippers will have a choice of three different types of armband: a "Football Unites The World" armband for the whole tournament; an armband corresponding to the theme of an individual match day; or an armband promoting one of 8 socio-political issues.
FIFA says the issues have been shortlisted following "extensive consultation with stakeholders, including players and the 32 participating member associations”. They call fans to "Unite" one of the following seven:
Education for All
End Violence Against Women
The eighth option declares "Football is Joy, Peace, Hope, Love, Passion".
The messages will also be promoted on pitch-side advertising boards, large flags presented on the pitch, giant screens and via social media.
"Football unites the world and our global events, such as the Women's World Cup, have a unique power to bring people together and provide joy, excitement and passion," said FIFA president Gianni Infantino in Friday's statement. "But football does even more than that — it can shine the spotlight on very important causes in our society."
Still no specific LGBTQ armband
Still conspicuous by its absence is the option of an explicitly pro-LGBTQ+ option in the form of the standard rainbow motif used by the LGBTQ community at Pride events.
The "Inclusion" armband, however, does feature red, black, green, pink, yellow and blue stripes layered horizontally within a heart-shaped outline, almost identical to the original "One Love" design which was deemed unacceptable to socially conservative Qatar seven months ago.
The colours also correspond to the recognised flags of Pan-Africanism and pan-sexuality.
Men's team captains from England, Wales, Belgium, the Netherlands, Switzerland, Germany and Denmark had planned to wear the "One Love" armbands at the men's World Cup to protest against Qatar's laws against same-sex relationships.
But after FIFA threatened sporting sanctions such as yellow cards against any player who wore it, the federations backed down — although Germany's players famously posed with their hands covering their mouths in their team photo ahead of their opening match (pictured above).
Those sanctions will remain in place in Australia and New Zealand this year, too.
The tournament kicks off on July 20.