False: The Danish Football Association is considering leaving FIFA over the ban on wearing the OneLove armband at the Qatar World Cup.

By: Annet Preethi Furtado
November 30 2022

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False: The Danish Football Association is considering leaving FIFA over the ban on wearing the OneLove armband at the Qatar World Cup.


The Verdict False

Though the Danish Football Association criticized FIFA over the OneLove armband row at the current World Cup, it denied that it intends to leave FIFA.

Claim ID 79b21f9e


The FIFA World Cup 2022 is the first World Cup held in the Middle East, which commenced on November 20, 2022, in Qatar. The captains of seven European teams planned to wear OneLove armbands to spread the message of diversity and inclusion in a country wherein homosexuality is forbidden. FIFA warned that players wearing the OneLove armband would get a yellow card at the tournament. According to the FIFA regulations for the 2022 tournament, a player is suspended for one game after receiving two yellow cards.

Following threats of disciplinary sanctions against players who wore the armband, some social media posts suggested that the Danish Football Association, or Dansk Boldspil-Union (DBU), was considering leaving FIFA. One such Facebook post claimed that the "Danish Football Association considering leaving Fifa over the banning of wearing One Love armband at #Qatar World Cup. None of the Danish players or the Danish Football Association protested when their government banned the #Niqab few years ago!" 

In Fact

The Royal Dutch Football Association launched the OneLove campaign to express their support for the coexistence of all people and to denounce all forms of discrimination. The rainbow armband reads "OneLove" and has the number one enclosed in a heart. The rainbow flag is a widely recognized symbol of LGBTQ rights, even though the armband does not explicitly refer to LGBTQ causes or discrimination. In September 2022, it was stated that some nations, like Sweden and Norway, will adopt the campaign in advance of upcoming events like the UEFA Nations League matches.

Qatar's approach to human rights has garnered criticism, especially concerning the treatment of migrant workers and the country's stance on LGBTQ people, reports the Washington Post. Same-sex relationships are illegal in Qatar, and even in September 2022, people of the LGBTQ community have been harassed and imprisoned by the government, said a Times report based on data from Human Rights Watch. The team captains were to wear the armbands in a gesture of solidarity with the LGBTQ community, said Time magazine. However, FIFA's threats of athletic penalties forced the football teams to cancel their gesture of support for the OneLove campaign.

During a news conference in Qatar on November 23, Peter Moller, DBU Football Director, Jesper Moller, DBU Chairman, and Jakob Jensen, DBU Managing Director, criticized the OneLove armband ban as an "unacceptable" action. Though the DBU expressed outrage at FIFA's imposition of sanctions against those wearing the armband, it did not formally withdraw from FIFA. 

According to a Reuters article, speculations that the DBU will leave FIFA over the OneLove armbands are false. Jakob Hoejer, DBU Head of Communications, told Reuters, "Some media have made the misunderstanding that DBU will withdraw from FIFA." He further said, "That was not said at the press conference. We're critical and not satisfied and we'll not vote for the present FIFA president (Gianni Infantino). We will discuss further actions with our Nordic and European colleagues."

The Verdict

The DBU dismissed rumors that it planned to leave FIFA over the OneLove armband dispute, but DBU representatives were critical of the current FIFA president Gianni Infantino. Therefore, we have marked this claim as false.

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