Responding to FIFA’s threats to sanction players who planned to wear ‘One Love’ armbands to show support for the LGBTI community, Steve Cockburn, Amnesty International’s Head of Economic and Social Justice said:
“Last minute threats to sanction players for wearing messages in support of human rights and equality is the latest example of FIFA failing to fully uphold its own values and responsibilities. Sport does not happen in a vacuum and these are issues on which FIFA should be leading, not cracking down on. Agreements on armbands, and better protections for LGBTI communities, should have been reached a long time ago.
“We applaud the courage of teams and players who have spoken out about human rights and we hope they continue to do so. Fans, players and FAs want to ensure that football can be a vehicle to promote human rights, and FIFA needs to heed these calls quickly. It must not only encourage messages of equality, but take proactive action to ensure LGBTI people are protected.
“And let’s not forget the migrant workers who made the tournament possible. They must be compensated in full for the unspeakable abuse they suffered.”