England players reportedly feared an even worse punishment than just a yellow card if they’d worn the OneLove armband in their opening World Cup game against Iran.
This World Cup has proven controversial so far, with host nation Qatar arguably never looking like a particularly suitable host due to question marks over the treatment of migrant workers in preparing for this tournament, as well as their laws on homosexuality.
England and other countries had planned a protest to show support for the LGBTQI+ community, but were threatened with a yellow card for players wearing the armband.
According to the Independent, some players actually feared worse – that they could even be given red cards if they defied FIFA’s orders.
The report adds that England have held a team meeting to discuss what to do next, with the players seemingly keen not to rush into a decision.
Germany players staged a protest of their own before their defeat against Japan, covering their mouths in their team photo and releasing a statement from the national team’s Twitter account.
It remains to be seen if we’ll witness something similar from Gareth Southgate’s side ahead of tomorrow’s game against the USA.