House of Commons condemns FIFA’s threat of penalties for World Cup protest armbands

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The House of Commons on Tuesday passed a motion condemning FIFA’s threat to punish players on the field at the World Cup for wearing armbands in protest against host country Qatar’s stance on LGBTQ2+ rights.

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NDP MP Blake Desjarlais introduced a motion demanding “unanimous consent for the House to condemn FIFA’s decision to threaten to punish players and teams wearing ‘One Love’ armbands at the World Cup in Qatar” “

No member objected and the motion was quickly accepted.

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Unanimous Consent Resolutions do not receive a formal vote, and do not always reflect official government policies. Rather, they are adopted only when no MP raises their voice against them when the motion is introduced.

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The motion reflects the will of the House of Commons rather than the government itself.

The House motion was the latest criticism of FIFA’s stance, which came in response to plans for several European team captains to wear rainbow-patterned “One Love” armbands during the tournament to protest Qatar’s criminalization of homosexuality.

FIFA has approved a generic “no discrimination” armband for wear during games. The band was seen on the arm of England’s Harry Kane during Monday’s match against Iran.

On the same day, FIFA stated that it would issue yellow cards to captains who did not wear organization-approved armbands. This would mean that the player would start the game under yellow, only one caution away from ejection from that game and the next. European teams were expected to impose fines, the nations said in a joint statement.

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Earlier on Tuesday, Sports Minister Pascal Saint-Onge told reporters in Ottawa that it was “unfortunate” FIFA was taking a tougher stance on the armband, calling the move a “political decision to curtail athletes’ freedom of expression”. .

“Athletes should have the right to express their opinions as well as protect the sporting environment and ensure that all athletes can compete fairly,” she said.

Since being named host in 2010, Qatar has faced criticism for its hardline stance on LGBTQ2+ rights, including its treatment of migrant workers and women and the suppression of freedom of speech.

FIFA and Qatari officials have urged teams, international spectators and participating nations to respect Qatar’s culture and politics, and to focus on the sport.

House of Commons condemns FIFA’s threat of penalties for World Cup protest armbands

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