One of the many controversies surrounding last year’s World Cup, held in Qatar and featuring men’s national teams, had to do with the armbands that many players wear on the pitch. FIFA, global soccer’s governing body, prohibited a number of national teams from wearing OneLove armbands in support of LGBTQIA+ rights. For this year’s World Cup, showcasing women’s national teams and taking place in Australia and New Zealand, FIFA has also issued guidelines on armbands — but things are likely to look a little different.
While Pride flag and OneLove armbands will still be off the table, as reported by The Guardian, but teams will have eight different FIFA-approved designs to choose from.
As per FIFA’s announcement, the eight armbands are designed to impart a number of sentiments: Unite for Inclusion, Unite for Indigenous Peoples, Unite for Gender Equality, Unite for Peace, Unite for Education for All, Unite for Zero Hunger, Unite for Ending Violence Against Women and Football is Joy, Peace, Love, Hope & Passion.
FIFA partnered with several U.N. agencies, as well as the World Health Organization, on these initiatives.
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As Tariq Panja wrote for the New York Times, the “Unite for Inclusion” armband features a similar selection of colors to the Pride armband. It’s not quite the same thing, but it’s also not that different — and it seems like a step in the right direction after last year’s controversy.
The tournament kicks off — literally, in this case — on July 20.