Slight reprieve for Wales fans as FIFA bows down to pressure reverses ban on rainbow hats and armbands
It's a figurative win for the Wales fans over FIFA as their struggles have overcome FIFA's ban on rainbow hats and armbands. FIFA bowed down to the protests by the fans who wanted to sport 'One Love' armbands and rainbow hats which had earlier been banned because of their LGBTQI+ support symbols.
This comes after fresh controversy surrounding the World Cup in Qatar when several Wales fans were denied entry to the stadium for wearing rainbow-themed bucket hats and had them confiscated from them which sparked criticism and fury from fans for FIFA.
The football governing body had first imposed a ban on teams from wearing the One Love armband which still remains in effect but then went further impinging on the rights of fans too. It is to be noted that Qatar punishes acts of homosexuality and same sex-relations can lead to indefinite imprisonment or worse.
The football association of Wales were handed a fine by the World Cup 2022 organisers after the confiscation fiasco that took place ahead of the Wales and USA game that ended in a stalemate of 1-1, the Guardian reported.
The world football body and Qatari authorities held talks after the Football Association of Wales got clarity over the outcome that led to supporters being ordered to remove rainbow-coloured clothing if they wanted to enter the stadium.
The Football Association of Wales chief executive Noel Mooney stated that FIFA's threat was 'cheap and pretty low'.
"We were told this was going to be a really inclusive, welcoming, warm World Cup. That is not what I have seen, I have to say. To have our fans having their bucket hats taken off them is just appalling. Their voice was taken away, and the players’ voices were taken away by the armband. For that we are deeply disappointed," Mooney added.
The Football Association of Wales in a statement said, "In response to the FAW, Fifa has confirmed that fans with Rainbow Wall bucket hats and rainbow flags will be allowed entry to the stadium for Cymru’s match against Iran on Friday. All World Cup venues have been contacted and instructed to follow the agreed rules and regulations. The FAW urges Fifa to adhere to their message that everybody will be welcome in Qatar during the World Cup and continue to highlight any further human rights issues."
Seven European nations competing at the World Cup including Germany, England, and Wales had planned to wear the One Love anti-discrimination armbands during the tournament but they were blackmailed by FIFA with a yellow card and had to abort the plan.
Germany uniquely staged a silent protest by covering their mouths highlighting the suppression of freedom of speech and Denmark has contemplated suing FIFA over it.