Sam Kerr responds to FIFA World Cup pride armband ban

Matildas captain Sam Kerr on the field
Image: LittleBlinky/Flickr

Matildas captain Sam Kerr says she won’t risk the national team’s Women’s World Cup hopes by wearing a prohibited LGBTQIA+ pride armband at the World Cup.

This month, out national team the Matildas will play in the FIFA Women’s World Cup, which is in Australia and kicks off July 20.

Last week, FIFA unveiled a range of approved armbands that captains can choose from to wear throughout the tournament.

In 2022, a big controversy over the 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 with the phrase “One Love” and a spectrum of colours.

Those colours are red, black, and green, symbolising race and heritage, as well as pink, yellow, and blue, representing gender and sexual orientation.

Now, FIFA has confirmed the eight approved armbands for the Women’s World Cup around the theme of “Football Unites the World”.

The armbands represent issues including peace, gender equality, education, Indigenous people, and violence against women.

One of the approved armbands carries the vaguer message “Unite for Inclusion” and features the same “One Love” colours.

None of the armbands have the red, orange, yellow, green, blue, and purple stripes of the traditional LGBTQIA+ rainbow flag.

FIFA warned any players wearing banned armbands will get yellow cards on the field.

Sam Kerr reacts to “One Love” armband ban

Matildas captain Sam Kerr has weighed in, saying she expected FIFA’s decision and said she would not protest it.

“Firstly, we kind of expected it. I didn’t expect [FIFA] to change [the rule],” she said.

“Obviously, we would love to wear it, like most of the teams in the whole world.

“Everyone has voiced that they would love to wear it.

“But I think you saw with the men’s World Cup, Harry Kane for example, first game. If he had worn it, yellow card, if he’d got a yellow card again, he would’ve been sent off.

“So for me it’s not worth the risk, putting the team at risk, putting everything at risk.

“We have to abide by the rules we’ve been given.

“There will be multiple opportunities where I get to use my voice for things.”

Matildas captain Sam Kerr is in a relationship with American soccer player Kristie Mewis.

Ex-Matilda slams FIFA over rainbow armbands

FIFA president Gianni Infantino earlier said, “Football unites the world and our global events, such as the FIFA Women’s World Cup, have a unique power to bring people together and provide joy, excitement and passion.

“But football does even more than that – it can shine the spotlight on very important causes in our society.”

Professional Footballers Australia co-chief executive and former Matildas striker Kate Gill accused FIFA of hypocrisy in trying to restrict the ability of players to express themselves.

“The Matildas players have been at the forefront of the pursuit of gender equality, LGBTI+ inclusion and ensuring that sport is a genuine force for good,” Gill told Nine newspapers.

“In authentically raising their voices they have been powerful allies for many.

“FIFA are now attempting to define for these same players, and their peers around the world, the limits of their freedom of expression regarding human rights, whilst at the same time stating that football unites the world and can shine a spotlight on important causes.

“Any player that uses their platform to express their support for human rights will continue to have the full support of the PFA.

“Good allyship requires courage to stand up for those who are having their rights undermined. Being an apologist for those who are unwilling to respect human rights is the exact opposite.”

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Jordan Hirst
Jordan Hirst

Jordan Hirst is an experienced journalist and content creator with a career spanning over a decade at QNews. Since 2012, the Brisbane local has covered an enormous range of topics and subjects in-depth affecting the LGBTIQA+ community, both in Australia and overseas. Today, the Brisbane-based journalist covers everything from current affairs, politics and health to sport and entertainment.

QNews, Brisbane Gay, App, Gay App, LGBTI, LGBTI News, Gay Australia

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