Harry Kane could miss England's final World Cup group game as FIFA threaten to book captains wearing OneLove armband

20 November 2022, 23:26 | Updated: 20 November 2022, 23:30

England skipper Harry Kane could miss England's final group game after FIFA threaten to card captains defying armband law
England skipper Harry Kane could miss England's final group game after FIFA threaten to card captains defying armband law. Picture: Alamy / PA

By Danielle DeWolfe

Harry Kane could miss England's final World Cup group game against Wales, as FIFA threaten to book captains who defiantly wear OneLove armbands in support of the LGBTQ+ community.

The Lions' skipper is one of nine captains who has vowed to stand against host nation Qatar's anti-LGBT laws by wearing the multi-coloured heart armband.

It comes as the Football Association confirmed England's players will take the knee during the tournament and remain determined that Kane will wear the armband as a gesture of equality.

Football executives are said to be seeking clarity from FIFA about the punishments, after new laws were introduced surrounding equipment and apparel worn by players.

It's but the latest in a string of controversies that have marred the tournament, the most prominent of which concerns Qatar's human rights record.

Homosexuality remains outlawed in the Gulf State, with those convicted facing up to 7 years in prison. The wearing of the armband by skippers is intended to highlight the issue.

Read more: Joe Lycett shreds £10,000 to protest David Beckham's £10 million World Cup deal for homophobic Qatar

Read more: Iran's World Cup Captain says football team 'support' those who have died in anti-government protests

England skipper Harry Kane could miss England's final group game if he defies Fifa armband ban
England skipper Harry Kane could miss England's final group game if he defies Fifa armband ban. Picture: Alamy / PA

The tournament's opening ceremony, which took place on Sunday evening, featured actor Morgan Freeman, as well as US pop star Nicki Minaj, K-Pop superstars BTS, and British artist Robbie Williams.

Taking place in front of the Qatari royal family, images depicted rows of empty seats inside the Al Bayt stadium.

Williams was one of a growing list of stars to come under fire for endorsing Qatar in recent days in spite of their human rights record.

It also follows claims by The Guardian that 6,500 migrants have died in Qatar since construction began on facilities ahead of the World Cup.

Former England captain and worldwide footballing icon David Beckham also faced criticism for his support of the Gulf State's tournament, in what's rumoured to be a deal worth £10 million.

Recent days saw widespread outrage at celebrity endorsements, with comedian Joe Lycett following through with his threat to shred £10,000 of his own money if Beckham went ahead with the scheduled appearance.

Morgan Freeman took part in Qatar's World Cup opening ceremony on Sunday night
Morgan Freeman took part in Qatar's World Cup opening ceremony on Sunday night. Picture: Getty

England's first Group B game is set to be against Iran on Monday, with the skipper facing the prospect of a yellow card if he wears the armband as planned.

It comes as the host nation took on Ecuador - a game which saw the Arab nation lose 2-0 in a match which had the lowest number of goal opportunities since stats began in 1966.

'Fans' could be seen exiting the stadium at half time, without returning.

Speaking live on air, BBC pundit and Newcastle striker Alan Shearer labelled a winter World Cup "weird".

He later pushed back on criticism by FIFA President Gianni Infantino, who yesterday accused Western nations of “hypocrisy” and noting they were not in any position to give “moral lessons”.

Qatar  v Ecuador -World Cup
Qatar v Ecuador -World Cup. Picture: Getty

Infantino delivered the extraordinary hour-long speech in a pre-tournament press conference, declaring "today I feel gay" and "I feel (like) a migrant worker" before taking aim at European critics of Qatar.

Shearer's comments follow fellow pundit Gary Neville labelling the FIFA president "the worst face" to represent the Qatar World Cup following the controversial monologue on Saturday.

He also called on the governing body, which was disgraced following an investigation into vote buying, to "clean up its act".

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