Fifa has ordered Belgium to remove the word “love” from their away shirts at the Qatar World Cup over a commercial dispute.
The move follows Fifa’s warning to several teams that their captains would incur yellow cards if they wore special OneLove armbands at the tournament, which forced those nations – including England and Wales, as well as Belgium – to drop the plans. Those nations have now agreed to wear Fifa’s ‘no discrimination’ armbands instead.
Fifa is now pushing Belgium to remove the “love” wording embroidered in the shirt collar of the team’s white away shirt. The Independent understands it is a separate issue from the armband, revolving around the Belgian Football Association’s commercial partnership with the music festival Tomorrowland and manufacturer Adidas, which recently released a ‘love’ clothing collection to celebrate the collaboration.
It is unclear whether Belgium have agreed to the request and the Belgian FA has been contacted for comment.
The Netherlands began the OneLove campaign before Euro 2020 to promote diversity and inclusion. But it was announced on Monday morning that the captains of England, Wales, Belgium, the Netherlands, Switzerland, Germany and Denmark will not wear ‘OneLove’ armbands at the World Cup under pressure from Fifa.
According to HLN, Peter Bossaert, CEO of the Belgian Football Association, said: “We have been in solidarity with the participating countries all along by wearing the armband. You can’t just break that solidarity now. England was the first country to play after the sanction was announced. It is sportingly unfair to ask them to resist that pressure from Fifa.”
And Bossaert was reportedly stunned by the order from Fifa to remove the word ‘love’ from their shirt.
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