NZ captain expertly defies FIFA’s Pride ban at Women’s World Cup

New Zealand captain Ali Riley defied Pride ban at the FIFA Women's World Cup
Image: Twitter

New Zealand’s football captain Ali Riley has gone viral after she found an amazing loophole and defied FIFA’s petty Pride ban by wearing rainbow painted nails.

The FIFA Women’s World Cup is officially underway in Australia and New Zealand.

Last year, a big controversy over player’s armbands blew up during the men’s World Cup in host city, anti-gay Qatar. Players wanted to wear a colourful armband to protest Qatar’s laws criminalising homosexuality.

But FIFA banned armbands, that featured the phrase “One Love” and a spectrum of colours. Ahead of the Women’s World Cup, FIFA unveiled an underwhelming range of approved armbands players could wear. One featured the vague message “Unite for Inclusion”.

None of the approved armbands had the red, orange, yellow, green, blue, and purple stripes of the traditional LGBTQIA+ rainbow flag, frustrating some players.

But New Zealand captain Ali Riley has gone viral for getting a message of LGBTQIA+ inclusion onto the field during her first match.

Ali was photographed with her nails on one hand painted red, orange, yellow, green, and blue. On her other hand, she painted them the pink, blue and white of the trans pride flag.

‘Legendary behaviour’

Ali Riley and her team were celebrating their big match win against Norway at the Cup. Twitter users spotted her colourful nails during her post-match interview during the coverage.

“Nothing stopping Ali Riley from showing PRIDE at the World Cup this summer,” a women’s sport account tweeted.

“Ali Riley deliberately getting the rainbow/trans flag nails in the shot to piss off FIFA. Legendary behaviour,” another person wrote.

Ali Riley is proud LGBTQIA+ ally

New Zealand captain Ali Riley has previously said she’s a staunch LGBTQIA+ ally, and said discrimination in sport is heartbreaking to her.

“When I look at my friends and teammates and think that they wouldn’t be treated or have the same opportunities as I would, it makes me so angry,” Riley said last year.

“Particularly with trans kids and sports, I look at what sport has done for me and my life. To think that little kids are not allowed to play sports [because of their identity], it really breaks my heart.”

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1 Comment

  1. Isobel
    22 July 2023

    Power move by Ali!

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