Gareth Bale wearing the OneLove armband in the Nations League. Pic: Getty Images.

Wales Boss Rob Page Insists Gareth Bale Will Wear OneLove Armband . . . Whatever FIFA Apply As Sanctions

By Paul Jones

Wales manager Robert Page has insisted Gareth Bale will wear a OneLove armband at the World Cup in Qatar – regardless of any threatened FIFA sanctions.

Page has said the stance taken is one agreed by the players, including captain Bale, as well as the Football Association of Wales’ staff.

Both Wales and England’s association officials have written to FIFA requesting they be allowed to wear the armbands in Qatar, but no reply has yet been forthcoming.

The rainbow-coloured armbands are used to promote diversity, inclusion and anti-discrimination and the intention is to wear them in Qatar – where same-sex relationships and the promotion of same-sex relationships are criminalised.

In an interview with Sky Sports, Page said of the Welsh stance, “It is vital. That’s the message we want to portray.

“That’s what we believe in and stand up for. We want to back our supporters in regard to that.

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“We won’t change our beliefs on that – absolutely.  We will be wearing the armband. That’s the stance we are making and it comes from the staff and the association. It’s the right thing to do.

“We are strong in our beliefs in that and whoever the captain is will be wearing armband, regardless (of FIFA).”

The armbands were worn at the latest round of Nations League fixtures, with permission being given by UEFA.

However, no green light has been given by FIFA for next month’s World Cup and Qatari officials have suggested no political statements of any kind will be allowed to be made by players – a stance generally upheld by FIFA.

Some critics have dismissed the armband as a token gesture calibrated to appear sincere without ruffling feathers in a country where homosexuality remains illegal.

Australian players have gone further than gestures and issued a video criticising the Qatari authorities and their record on human rights.

Wales manager Robert Page. Pic: Getty Images.

Some 16 players, including ex-Arsenal and Brighton goalkeeper Mat Ryan, appear in the video in which they draw issue with the country’s treatment of migrants workers and the LGBTQ+ community.

“There are universal values that should define football. Values such as respect, dignity, trust and courage,” skipper Ryan said in his section of the statement.

“When we represent our nation, we aspire to embody these values.”

They add: “We stand with Fifpro, the Building and Wood Workers International and the International Trade Union Confederation, seeking to embed reforms and establish a lasting legacy in Qatar.

“This must include establishing a migrant resource centre, effective remedy for those who have been denied their rights, and the decriminalisation of all same-sex relationships.


“These are the basic rights that should be afforded to all and will ensure continued progress in Qatar.

“This is how we can ensure a legacy that goes well beyond the final whistle of the 2022 FIFA World Cup.”

It comes after former England striker Gary Lineker led criticism of Foreign Secretary James Cleverly for suggesting that LGBT football fans heading to the World Cup in Qatar should be “respectful of the host nation”.

Cleverly urged fans to show “a little bit of flex and compromise” and to “respect the culture of your host nation”, before Downing Street distanced itself from his comments.

Responding to the politician’s comments on Twitter, the Match Of The Day presenter wrote: “Whatever you do, don’t do anything Gay. Is that the message?”

2 thoughts on “Wales Boss Rob Page Insists Gareth Bale Will Wear OneLove Armband . . . Whatever FIFA Apply As Sanctions

  1. If FIFA apply sanctions who Is Page to go against it. WHO DOES HE THINK HE IS? Taking Wales to the World Cup taking all the credit on the back of other Managers who set the plan the style now its gone to his head. I want Wales to do well but let’s see how good he is when we get there.

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