French Football Federation (FFF) president Noel Le Graet has said he would « rather » players didn’t wear rainbow armbands at the World Cup in Qatar in support of LGBTQ+ rights.
In September it was announced that all eight European countries who had qualified for the World Cup would wear the armband throughout the tournament as part of a ‘One Love’ campaign promoting inclusion and equality.
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Homosexuality is illegal in Qatar and was described as « damage in the mind » by tournament ambassador Khalid Salman this week. But, in an interview with L’Equipe, Le Graet said he was skeptical as to whether France captain Hugo Lloris should wear the ‘One Love’ armband.
« We’re going to discuss it. But I’d rather he doesn’t do it, » Le Graet said. « We’re playing in a country which we must respect. But if we have to wear it, we’ll wear it.
« It’s not that I’m not in favor of this armband, but sometimes I think we want to lecture others so much that we should also look at what’s happening in our country. »
Bayern Munich and Germany midfielder Leon Goretzka criticized Salman’s anti-gay comments earlier this week, saying they came from « another millenium. » Salman, a former Qatar international, added that gay fans would have to « accept our rules » at the World Cup.
FIFA has written to all 32 nations taking part in the World Cup encouraging them to « focus on the football » rather than be dragged into political issues.