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30th Jun 2023

FIFA blocks Katie McCabe from wearing OneLove armband at World Cup

Simon Kelly

FIFA have blocked the armband for the second World Cup in a row.

Republic of Ireland captain Katie McCabe has been refused permission by FIFA to wear the OneLove armband in matches at the World Cup in Australia and New Zealand this summer.

A request by the FAI was made several months ago for McCabe to have permission to wear either the OneLove or a rainbow armband. That request has been denied and will be seen as a major disappointment for the many LGBT players within the Irish squad, including McCabe and her partner Ruesha Littlejohn.

FIFA has instead announced plans to highlight varying “social issues and causes” throughout the tournament, with captains able to wear armbands corresponding to the specific cause in each round of matches or one for the entirety of the tournament. The causes were selected after an “extensive consultation with stakeholders including players and the 32 participating member associations.”

Captains also have the option to wear an armband simply saying “Football Unites the World” for the entire tournament. Teams will be sanctioned if they choose to breach the rules by wearing other armbands.

FIFA blocks OneLove and Rainbow armbands once again.

“Football unites the world and our global events, such as the FIFA Women’s World Cup, have a unique power to bring people together and provide joy, excitement and passion,” said FIFA President Gianni Infantino.

“But football does even more than that – it can shine the spotlight on very important causes in our society. 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.”

The regulations remain the same from last years Men’s World Cup in Qatar, which also stopped teams from wearing the OneLove armband.

During the competition last year, both England and Wales backed down and decided not to wear OneLove armbands after a threat from FIFA that captains Harry Kane and Gareth Bale could face an instant yellow card for doing so.

However, presenter and ex-England international Alex Scott wore the armband during her punditry on the BBC and was praised by many for taking a stand.

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