FIFA could take action. Is Xhaka at risk of being penalized for his captain’s armband?

Granit Xhaka wants to play with the captain's armband
Granit Xhaka wants to play with the “One Love” captain’s armband at the World Cup.

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Granit Xhaka and other European captains want to play in Qatar with a “One Love” captain’s armband and thus fight for inclusion and against discrimination. But shortly before the start of the tournament, trouble threatens.

In the last matches of the Nations League and in the friendly against Ghana, Granit Xhaka played with a special captain’s armband. He showed a heart with various colors that represent the diversity of humanity. “As captain of the Swiss national team, I wear this captain’s armband with pride. As a team, we stand for tolerance, respect and solidarity,” Xhaka said in September.

He also wants to wear this bandage at the World Cup. It’s supposed to be a silent protest. As a sign against homophobia and racism and in favor of human and women’s rights. “We want to remind everyone that we are all equal and we want to be treated equally,” says Xhaka.

In addition to Switzerland, the major nations of the Netherlands, Germany, England and Belgium are also taking part in the campaign. Unless FIFA steps in at the last second. As “Bild” reports, the world association “suddenly wants to present its own binding campaign with different messages.” It is quite possible that the “One Love” captain’s armband is banned in Qatar.

Association leaders from Germany and England said they would accept fines. But what happens when FIFA imposes more drastic sanctions? According to the “Bild”, the captains could be sanctioned with a yellow card by the referee before kick-off if they wear the “One Love” bandage.

Aside from the fact that Xhaka, for example, would have to enter the match with a warning in this case, another yellow card should not be allowed until the quarter-finals, otherwise he would be suspended for one match. Also, Xhaka would probably have to do without the “One Love” captain’s armband after the second mission. After the round of 16, yellow cards are canceled once.

Participants must abide by the rules.

A warning before the start of the game due to the captain’s armband, is that possible? The clear answer: yes. “If a player is ordered to leave the field of play for an offense (…) and returns to the field of play without the permission of the referee, he will be warned,” the regulations say. The captain’s armband is considered part of the team.

The official FIFA regulations for the World Cup also establish very precisely in “Obligations of the participating member associations” that the member associations and their players, coaches, representatives, etc. undertake to comply with these regulations, the Laws of the Game, the FIFA Statutes and other Comply with FIFA regulations. In addition to media and marketing regulations and disciplinary regulations, team regulations are also explicitly listed. In other words: what FIFA wants must be fulfilled in the World Cup; otherwise there will be problems.

Good for the national team: England already plays against Iran on Monday, Harry Kane wants to lead the band “One Love” as captain of the Three Lions. So Granit Xhaka can see if Kane really gets a warning or not.

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