Tom Swarbrick: Too much is placed on footballers to be reflective of our values

21 November 2022, 18:38

Tom Swarbrick questions whether 'too much' is placed on footballers.

By Hannah Holland

From "champions of social justice" to "mere international footballers", Tom Swarbrick weighed in on the Football Association’s “pathetic” decision to “give into the demands of the corrupt FIFA".

England and Wales decided against players wearing OneLove armbands at the World Cup after FIFA threatened to impose sporting sanctions on the teams if they wore the armbands.

Tom initially explained that the Football Association had decided that a yellow card was “too much to withstand.”

He continued: “Therefore England will not wear the OneLove arm band - a symbol of solidarity for gay people in a country where, of course, being gay is illegal.”

“There’s a fair bit to criticise the FA for”, Tom said before adding: “how apparently pathetic to give into the demands of the corrupt FIFA.

“When for years, in the run up to this World Cup, the FA has been taking about how inclusive football should be.”

Tom explained: “FIFA’s threat and the FA’s U-turn has reduced the eleven who took to the pitch today from England from champions of social justice and freedom of expression to mere international footballers.”

He then questioned listeners: “Be honest - if England had been battered 6-2 by Iran but had worn the arm band, would you be content with how they’d done?

“Would that ultimately have been good enough?”

“The reality is, ultimately they are professional footballers and maybe too much is placed on them to be overtly reflective of the values that we hold dear”, Tom considered.

“Is it enough for professional footballers to be anti racist and anti-homophobic and not receive opprobrium if they don’t overly show that they are.”

He said: “The FA is being asked to choose between football - getting a fine, having players yellow-carded, possibly suspensions that would come with that every time they took to the pitch wearing an armband - versus taking a stand.”

And I think it’s pretty obvious what they were going to choose when placed in those circumstances.”

READ MORE: England captain Harry Kane won't wear 'OneLove' armband in World Cup after FA back down over booking threat

READ MORE: James O'Brien defends the England team's 'powerful gestures' against Qatar's 'rancid regime'

More Tom Swarbrick

See more More Tom Swarbrick

A sister has described the moment she punched a crocodile to save her sister.

'I wasn't going to leave her behind': Twin recalls punching crocodile to save sister

Susan Hall has dismissed Ed Miliband's claim that she would be an 'embarrassment' to Britain as the next London mayor.

Susan Hall dismisses as 'nonsense’ after Ed Miliband said she would be an ‘embarrassment’ as London Mayor

UK should prepare for 'something close to war', Nato's deputy tells LBC, amid warning members have 'neglected defence'

UK should prepare for 'something close to war', Nato's Deputy General tells LBC, as he warns Russia 'cannot be trusted'

Emma Webber (left) speaking to LBC

Mother of Nottingham attack victim Barnaby Webber blasts police ‘mistruths’ after force is put in special measures

Lord Harrington said there should be a cap on the number of asylum seekers the UK takes.

Former refugees minister Lord Harrington calls for a cap on the number of asylum seekers the UK takes

Mel Stride has backed the PM

Rishi Sunak has 'absolutely not' betrayed nation over Rwanda plan, insists minister after Braverman's attack on PM

Tom and caller

'Our family is there': Mother shares heartbreaking experience of being a British Jew during Israel-Hamas conflict

The ban will be brought into effect in months

'Children should be in the classroom to learn': Gillian Keegan orders 'blanket ban' of mobile phones in schools

Tributes have been paid to Elianne after she was stabbed to death in Croydon

Fellow pupil of schoolgirl stabbed to death in Croydon describes heartbreaking moment students were told of her killing

Scotland's first safe drug consumption space set to be openned

'Isn't this just decriminalising heroin?': Tom Swarbrick questions Labour MSP over first safe drug consumption room

The education secretary discusses educational reforms with Tom Swarbrick

Shadow education secretary says 'Building Schools for the Future Programme' would have prevented Raac crisis

Tom Swabrick

'Is it not completely mental?': Tom Swarbrick astonished as schools shut due to crumble-risk concrete before new term

Exam results

Equation sheets given to GCSE cohort in attempt lessen reduced grade inflation blow, schools minister says

Crime commentator on Adam Provan

Internal review of rapist ex-Met officer is the equivalent of 'marking your own homework', says crime commentator

Education Secretary discuss new Eton free schools on LBC

‘Bailed out by Eton’: Education Secretary discusses new free schools with Tom Swarbrick

Lucy Letby: We have to know what went so 'catastrophically wrong' says Tom Swarbrick

Lucy Letby: We have to know what went so 'catastrophically wrong' says Tom Swarbrick