Hazard will not wear OneLove band, association chairman responds: “We will not take that risk for our captain”

That colorful band stands for inclusion, diversity and equal rights for the LGBT + community and would be worn by Eden Hazard, among others, as a statement, but nothing comes of it. World football association FIFA announced that whoever wears the band will receive a yellow card. The Belgian football association does not want to take that risk.

“It is indeed bad news that the bracelet is not allowed,” says Van den Bulck. In a joint statement Belgium, England, Wales, Switzerland, Germany, Denmark and the Netherlands said they deeply regret FIFA’s decision.

Message clear

“At the same time, you can also say that we have long conducted our own campaign with the Football Association on diversity, inclusion and equal rights,” says Van den Bulck. “And that message has clearly reached FIFA: they know how we feel about it. We have indeed achieved our goal.”

Eden Hazard with the band. ©AFP

Van den Bulck is talking about the ‘Come together’ campaign that has been running since 2021 and that aims to eliminate racism, discrimination, homophobia and other forms of inequality through all kinds of projects.

Give in

But the captain’s armband that also radiates those values, is not going to be worn by the Belgian captain. So our country succumbs to the pressure.

“We can linger in that symbol, or we can go for values,” says Van den Bulck. “You also have to look at this pragmatically. We didn’t want to turn this into a fight for power or a battle for that specific symbol, but we wanted to go for values. And we have always been clear about the values ​​we hold dear. FIFA has understood that very well.”

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Also disappointment in the Netherlands

“We are very disappointed with FIFA’s decision,” said Marianne van Leeuwen, director of the Dutch football association, to NOS. “We stand behind OneLove’s message 100 percent. It is a respectful and positive message. Football is for everyone. It is for inclusion and against discrimination in any form.”

“We really wanted to play with that band, we already indicated that in mid-September, with quite a few other countries. Now we can’t go anywhere, because we’re here to play football first and foremost. It cannot be the case that at the start of the match the captain gets a yellow card because he is wearing that band. We had said that discussion of these topics would take place in the boardroom and not on the field. Now FIFA is throwing this back to the field by coming up with sporting sanctions.”

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