Fifa bans One Love armband from Women’s World Cup . . . then issues its own

England appear not to be attempting to contest Fifa’s decisions around the armbands, and it’s understood that over the coming weeks before their opening game they will now decide on which of Fifa’s eight permitted armbands they will wear at the tournament.

An FA spokesperson told Telegraph Sport: “We know FIFA engaged with federations and players from around the world on the armbands to be worn at the FIFA Women’s World Cup. The next step is for our players to decide which of the options they will choose to wear.”

Speaking prior to Fifa’s announcement, England midfielder Georgia Stanway said: “No matter what the outcome, whether it goes our way or not, we know we stand for exactly the same thing.

“If we can or can’t wear the armband, we know we wanted to, and we will stand by the fact that we wanted to. Whatever the outcome is, we’ll stand by what we believed in and what we wanted the resolution to be.”

Stanway was speaking ahead of England’s warm-up friendly against Portugal at a sold-out Stadium:MK on Saturday. It is England’s final match on home soil before they fly to Australia on July 5, to prepare for their World Cup opener against Haiti in Brisbane on July 22.

At the tournament, Fifa say they want to “highlight social causes” and they have chosen eight topics, after consultation with players, FAs and the United Nations.

They are therefore permitting eight armbands to be worn on the field of play, labelled:

  • Unite for inclusion
  • Unite for indigenous peoples
  • Unite for gender equality
  • Unite for peace
  • Unite for education for all
  • Unite for zero hunger
  • Unite for ending violence against women
  • Football is joy, peace, love, hope and passion

Participating teams will have the choice of either wearing one per match, or selecting one of the above armbands for their captain to wear throughout their campaign.

“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.

“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.”

Before then, on the pitch, England will get a sense of their readiness for the World Cup when they meet Portugal on Saturday. They will be without captain Millie Bright, who is ahead of schedule in her recovery from a knee injury but remains out, and also without Aston Villa midfielder Jordan Nobbs, but Manchester City defender Alex Greenwood has been passed fit to play.

On the test Portugal will provide, head coach Sarina Wiegman added: “For them, it’s their first time at a World Cup. They are technical but they’re not afraid to play a long ball. They have some speed up front and some players who can do unpredictable things.

“They have a style of play we haven’t faced yet, hopefully they will do that. We will be challenged. For us, it’s also the first game after the end of the season, after having a break and two weeks of training. So, we’re getting ready.”


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