Fifa blocks rainbow armband and unveils Women’s World Cup alternatives

Teams will have choice of eight Fifa-sanctioned armbands during tournament

Fifa has confirmed that players at the Women’s World Cup in Australia and New Zealand will not be able to wear the rainbow armband in support of LGBTQ+ rights or OneLove armband, but will instead be able to choose from eight alternative options.

There will be no change to the regulations that stopped teams from wearing the OneLove armband at last year’s men’s World Cup in Qatar, with sanctions possible should a team choose to breach the rules. However, teams will be invited to choose from eight Fifa-sanctioned armbands highlighting a variety of social causes.

In Qatar, England, Wales and five other European nations decided against wearing rainbow OneLove armbands, saying Fifa had made it clear their captains could be booked or forced to leave the pitch if they did so.

The themes of the armbands for the Women’s World Cup were picked after consultation with the 32 participating teams, players and United Nations agencies. The messages on the armbands are: Unite for Inclusion, Unite for Indigenous Peoples, Unite for Gender Equality, Unite for Peace, Unite for Education for All, Unite for Zero, Unite for Ending Violence Against Women and Football is Joy, Peace, Love, Hope and Passion.


The logo on the Unite for Inclusion armband features the same colours as those used in the OneLove armband, with red, back and green (the Pan-African flag) representing race and heritage and pink, yellow and blue (the pansexual flag) representing all gender identities and sexual orientations.

The FAI put in a request on behalf of Ireland captain Katie McCabe, one of several LGBT players in the squad, to wear either the rainbow or OneLove armband at the tournament. The FAI have been contacted for comment about today’s announcement.

“Football unites the world and our global events, such as the Fifa Women’s World Cup, have a unique power to bring people together and provide joy, excitement and passion,” said Fifa president Gianni Infantino in a statement. “But football does even more than that – it can shine the spotlight on very important causes in our society.

“After some very open talks with stakeholders, including member associations and players, we have decided to highlight a series of social causes – from inclusion to gender equality, from peace to ending hunger, from education to tackling domestic violence – during all 64 matches at the Fifa Women’s World Cup.”

The new messaging will also be promoted on pitchside advertising boards, flags on the pitch, screens in the stadium and on social media. Captains will be allowed to choose a message to wear for the entire tournament or one corresponding to the chosen matchday theme. – Guardian