'OneLove' armband U-turn is an embarrassing climbdown for England and Wales

England's Harry Kane pictured wearing a OneLove captain's armband. Credit: FA/AP

It’s embarrassing for Wales, for England and the other European nations that they’ve been forced to climb down. They’ve been insisting for months now they would wear the 'OneLove' armband regardless, and would take any punishment that comes their way.

They assumed, wrongly as it turns out, that punishment would be a fine, which they would have been prepared to pay.

England and Wales’ FAs, along with other European nations, say they’ve been waiting for clarification since they first alerted FIFA to their intentions in September, and they’ve heard nothing.

Then last night, for the first time, they got an inkling from FIFA that the 'OneLove' armband would be considered political and therefore the teams' captains would probably be booked the moment they entered the pitch.

Wales captain Gareth Bale has also been told not to wear the 'OneLove' armband.

This morning, at a face-to-face meeting, FIFA confirmed that would be the case and that is when the FAs all did an about-turn. However humiliating it is, they say that potential sanction would threaten performance and they cannot expect Harry Kane and Gareth Bale to get a yellow card for the sake of an armband. There are other ways they can show their support for inclusion throughout the tournament.

Ironically, and to complete this saga, FIFA has asked England and Wales to wear their rival armband. You couldn’t make any of this up. 

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