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Canadian MPs unanimously condemn FIFA threat to punish World Cup players for armbands

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England's Harry Kane, center, wearing a rainbow armband, controls the ball during the UEFA Nations League soccer match between Italy and England at the San Siro stadium, in Milan, Italy, on September 23, 2022. Canadian members of Parliament passed a unanimous motion Tuesday condemning FIFA's decision to threaten on-field punishment if soccer players in the World Cup wear armbands supportive of the LGBTQ community. Some team captains planned to wear "One Love" armbands seen as a rebuke to the human-rights record of host nation Qatar, where homosexuality is criminalized. But the governing body for soccer said that wearing the armband on the field could result in a serious penalty that would leave players one caution away from ejection in that game and the next. AP, Antonio Calanni

OTTAWA — Canadian members of Parliament passed a unanimous motion Tuesday condemning FIFA's decision to threaten on-field punishment if soccer players in the World Cup wear armbands supportive of the LGBTQ community.

Some team captains planned to wear "One Love" armbands seen as a rebuke to the human-rights record of host nation Qatar, where homosexuality is criminalized.

But the governing body for soccer said that wearing the armband on the field could result in a serious penalty that would leave players one caution away from ejection in that game and the next.

The House of Commons adopted a motion saying that international sporting governing bodies have a moral obligation to support players and fans in highlighting the fight for equality against homophobia, transphobia and all forms of discrimination in sport.

FIFA proposed a compromise on Monday and said it will allow captains to wear armbands that say "No Discrimination," adding in a statement that it is an "inclusive organization."

Canada's team captain, Atiba Hutchinson, said he plans to wear the armband in the country's opener against Belgium on Wednesday. 

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 22, 2022.

The Canadian Press