One Love Band

One+Love+Band

Juhee Desai , Co-Editor

As we all know, the World Cup is currently in full swing! With the quarterfinals coming up, it’s going to be exciting to see which team makes it to the semis. While we all know about the World Cup, everyone may not know about a recent mishap these teams faced. 

 

Qatar is hosting the 2022 World Cup, and as a predominately Muslim country, they have a few conservative policies that much of the rest of the world doesn’t agree with. To protest issues of discrimination based on race, religion, and sexual orientation, seven European countries were planning to have their captains wear armbands printed with a rainbow heart. Despite the organization’s claims to be totally inclusive of all individuals, FIFA (International Federation of Football Association) stated that it was against FIFA regulation for captains to wear any form of protest armband and warned those wore the band with a yellow card. Only Belgium and Germany continued to wear the bands throughout their game due to this FIFA threat. Germany’s players also responded to FIFA’s rule by covering their mouths during a pre-match photograph, with the German football federation saying, “Banning us from the bandage is like banning our mouths,” claiming that they felt muzzled by FIFA policies. Numerous other nations and followers are extremely dissatisfied with FIFA. These armbands, produced in factories in Utrecht, have been in high demand among FIFA protestors across the world and selling out quickly. 

 

The most pressing issue now is whether this is the appropriate time and place for opposition against Qatari policy. While many may argue that sports events are appropriate places to protest rights, others are not convinced that these areas should become politicized. America faced this issue before when football teams were protesting for Black Lives Matter, bringing up the same concern about whether sports should be politicized. In addition to this issue, many are not sure whether it is morally right for the teams to have to forcibly wear these bands regardless of their personal opinions. Given that they did not follow through with their plan due to FIFA rules, it was not the decision of the players but rather of those in charge, forcing their players to express political sentiments during their game. With so many controversial issues in the world today, there is no right answer to when and where is the proper place to protest; some say sports must stay neutral, while others claim it may make the biggest difference, reaching millions of people. For now, we can only hope that eventually these protests will lead to equality for all races and religions in every country worldwide.