Tue. Nov 22nd, 2022

Virgil van Dijk has responded to claims that the Netherlands and other countries are spineless in the anti-discrimination armband debate.

The Dutch were one of seven European nations, including England and Wales, who plan to have their captains wear the rainbow OneLove armband at the World Cup.

The group is part of a year-long campaign, but they would have delivered a particularly important message in Qatar, a country that criminalizes same-sex relationships.

However, seven countries abandoned their plans after tournament organizers threatened to impose sports sanctions, including yellow cards on captains, by instructing teams to wear a Fifa-approved ‘non-discriminatory’ headband.

After a 2-0 win against Senegal on Monday, Oranje captain Van Dijk told Dutch broadcaster NOS: “I’m playing in a position where the yellow card doesn’t work. I became a football player and I want to play in such tournaments. There are those who say we don’t have a backbone, but that’s not how things work.”

“We just want to play football. I would love to play with that group, but not at the expense of a yellow card,” added Van Dijk.

England captain Harry Kane said he was disappointed that England weren’t able to top the group during Monday’s opening victory over Iran, while teammate Jack Grealish said it was “a bit silly” to prevent Kane from doing so.

The Football Association was ready to be fined for the group, but its position and that of other associations changed when it became clear that sporting sanctions were a possibility.

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FIFA has been criticized a lot in this regard. He only announced his plan for an approved armband on Saturday, and even then he said the ‘non-discrimination’ part of his campaign would only begin in the quarterfinals.

Instead, that position changed on Monday. This was followed by a late U-turn in alcohol sales around the stadium last Friday.

Wales fans have claimed rainbow-colored items were confiscated prior to Monday night’s game against the USA, including Laura McAllister, who ran for election to the Fifa Council last year.

HE He tweeted on Monday night“So, despite the good words of FIFAWorldCup prior to the event, Cymru rainbow bucket hats were confiscated at the stadium, including mine.

“I had a talk with the referees about it – we have video evidence. This WorldCup 2022 is getting better, but we will continue to stand up for our values.”

Tournament organizers Fifa and the High Committee applied to comment on allegations of confiscation of rainbow-colored items. FIFA appears to have received assurances from Qatari authorities prior to the tournament that fans will be able to wear rainbow-coloured clothing and carry rainbow-coloured banners and flags.