Wales wears rainbow sleeve while warming up for World Cup game against Iran - but takes it off for the match

25 November 2022, 10:26 | Updated: 25 November 2022, 10:51

Wales captain Gareth Bale (l) warms up ahead of the Iran game as Jonny Williams and Dylan Levitt enter the pitch
Wales captain Gareth Bale (l) warms up ahead of the Iran game as Jonny Williams and Dylan Levitt enter the pitch. Picture: Getty

By Stephen Rigley

Defiant Welsh players wore a rainbow sleeve during their warm-up ahead of their World Cup game against Iran.

It comes after FIFA threatened a number of European nations with sporting sanctions if captains went ahead with plans to wear the OneLove armband during their opening games.

On Monday, the federations of England, Wales, Belgium, the Netherlands, Switzerland, Germany and Denmark said FIFA had threatened to issue yellow cards to any player wearing the multi-coloured armband. 

Gareth Bale applauds the Welsh fans ahead of the game against Iran
Gareth Bale applauds the Welsh fans ahead of the game against Iran. Picture: Getty

Read More: Fifa lifts ban on rainbow clothes and flags for future World Cup games in major u-turn

Read More: England fans in crusader costumes banned from World Cup stadiums

The German Football Association media director Steffen Simon told German Deutschlandfunk radio that England, who had been the first team to be expected to wear it on Monday in their game against Iran, had been threatened with multiple sporting sanctions to prevent them from making the gesture in support of LGBT+ rights. 

The threat led to all seven countries abandoning the plans.

And the decision to block the armband prompted Germany's players to cover their mouths during a team picture before they lost their opening game to Japan.

Homosexuality is illegal in the Gulf state and punishable by up to seven years in prison.

Yesterday, in a major U-turn Fifa lifted its ban on rainbow clothes and flags for upcoming games after Welsh fans were pictured having rainbow bucket hats and flags confiscated.

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