No rainbow-colored armband, and no word “Love” inside the collar of the Devils white jersey either. Belgian and international media reacted to the controversial decisions made by FIFA on Tuesday.
“One shame”. Like the newspaper L’Equipe, the international press denounced FIFA’s ban on wearing the “One Love” armband. “The renunciation of the seven European Federations is perhaps a lack of courage. But their members, at least, have had the audacity to stand up for their convictions and the freedom to love each other however you want, which shouldn’t be a problem for anyone, whatever the latitudes. This temerity, which faded under the threat of a yellow card, did not shake FIFA, which might have wavered more if the leaders, coaches or players of other nations had joined. to the movement”, writes the French media.
In England, the Mirror evokes “a shameful ban which shows a little more the true face of the Qatari regime.” On the ITV set, Roy Keane believes that the English federation made “a big mistake” by backpedaling. “I think the players could have done it for the first game, and taken the penalty whatever it is. Kane would have risked picking up a yellow card but that would have been a big statement. No matter the pressure that comes from outside and associations, have faith, if that’s what you believe, then go for it,” he added.
Germany is outraged by the decision of the international body. “FIFA is crazy right now. It’s so sad. If this World Cup has shown one thing, it’s that stick politics exist. FIFA wants to demonstrate its power, that’s what it does,” said Christoph Kramer on the ZDF set. Bild also uses the word “shame”: “The most powerful footballing nations in the world fail to impose a harmless armband against corrupt FIFA! With ‘OneLove’, at least one very sweet sign should have been raised against the senseless homophobia of Qataris. It is only four letters but these are too many for FIFA”.
After being banned from wearing the armband, Belgium also saw their second jersey being rejected by FIFA due to the presence of the word “Love” inside the collar. The Belgian press has therefore expressed its incomprehension. “One Love ? Limited love, yes. Even our colored training jersey is no longer allowed”, regrets Het Laatste Nieuws.
The Nieuwsblad asks Hazard to wear the armband
Our colleagues criticize the federation for having bowed to FIFA: “Either you stay away from statements. And consider that football is not politics. And you have already read here how, in our eyes, this signal comes up against the homophobia that still resonates strongly today in the stands and in the changing rooms of football. Either step forward in your signal for LGBT rights. You can’t kneel for Black Lives Matter before every game, only to snap like a twig in Qatar at the slightest headwind. Also, players don’t complain about being given a yellow card when they score a goal and take out their football shirts. But oh woe, when that yellow card comes after wearing a multicolored captain’s armband. So it was nothing but window dressing”
For its part, the Nieuwsblad challenges Eden Hazard: “Wear your armband anyway Eden and take this yellow card. It would be the first yellow card in history of which we could be very proud”, can we read in One. While The Last Hour title “the Devils beg to be quiet”, Le Soir speaks of “The World Cup of all cynicisms” and the “armband of discord”, adding that “before the controversies died out as soon as the ball began to roll. This is not the case in Qatar. So much the better”.