Tuesday, November 22, 2022

James Cox

Roy Keane has criticised England and Wales for not going ahead with plans for their captains to wear OneLove armbands at the World Cup, following pressure from FIFA.

The band contains the rainbow colours associated with the Pride flag. Qatar is a country which criminalises same-sex relationships.

England and Wales, along with other European countries, said they will not wear the rainbow-coloured anti-discrimination armband in their World Cup matches after FIFA threatened them with sporting sanctions.

The sanctions included an automatic yellow card for any player who wore the armband.

On punditry duty with ITV, Keane said countries had made a “big mistake” in “backing down”.

“I think the players could have done it for the first game – took the punishment, whatever that might be,” the Manchester United legend said.

“If it’s Kane you’re risking getting a yellow card, but that would have been a great statement.

“Do it for the first game, get your yellow card and what a message that would have been. Take your medicine and in the next game you move on. You don’t wear it because you don’t want to get suspended but, I think it was a big mistake because both players – Wales and England – should have stuck to their guns and done it.

“No matter the pressure from the outside and the associations, have the belief, if that’s what you believe, then go with it.”

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