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FIFA bans "One Love" arm bands during World Cup opening matches

Fans discuss World Cup controversy as USMNT begins tournament
Fans discuss World Cup controversy as USMNT begins tournament 01:38

By Mike Sullivan, WBZ-TV

BOSTON - Several World Cup teams were ready to take a stand against LGBTQ+ discrimination until FIFA took a stand against them.

The captains of seven European countries were prepared to sport rainbow "One Love" arm bands during their opening matches of the World Cup. The bands are a protest against anti-LGBTQ+ discrimination laws in the host nation of Qatar. Before kickoff, FIFA said any player who wore the band would get a yellow card. Two yellow cards and a player is suspended for one game.

"We caved. We were going to do it, and they said yellow card, so we easily caved," said Jak Katterfield, a native and fan of England. "I disagree with the English FA, and all the teams for not following through."

The move by FIFA has left professional players here in the US torn. Success at the World Cup can be a major catalyst towards growing soccer in the US. The sport already has intense competition from the other major sports in the country. Since the US Men's Soccer team missed the last World Cup, it has been eight years since the team took the field for the games.

"The building of it and everything, there were obviously things that were controversial. Not much the players there can do about it," says New England Revolution defender Andrew Farrell. "I wish they would have obviously worn them, but the organizations said they couldn't wear them because they didn't want to put the players in a position to get them kicked out."

Kristie Mewis is part of the Women's US Soccer team that will compete in the 2023 Women's World Cup.

"Look at the platform that they are on it's incredible. It makes everyone gather together, ban together, and it brings up a lot of social issues. Fixes a lot of things," remarked Mewis, who was not speaking directly about the Qatar World Cup. "There is so much going on in the world. It is a great way to bring people together."

Wales Captain Gareth Bale was going to wear the one love band in the opening match against the United States. The US and Wales tied 1-1 in their World Cup opener.  

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