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Women’s World Cup captains can kind of wear Pride rainbow armband, sort of

Women’s World Cup captains can support the gay, lesbian, bi, trans and queer community with an ‘inclusion’ armband.

Megan Rapinoe in a Portland Thorns v OL Reign match.
Megan Rapinoe will compete in what will likely be her final Women’s World Cup. It’s her fourth World Cup as an out gay woman.
Photo by Steph Chambers/Getty Images

Women’s World Cup team captains will be allowed to wear a form of rainbow armband during the tournament in Australia and New Zealand in support of the gay, lesbian, bi, trans community, according to FIFA.

However, the approved armband has been specifically designed to reject the Pride rainbow held dear by so many in the LGBTQ community, and instead the colors represent the “Pan-African flag and the pansexual flag to symbolize race and heritage and all gender identities and sexual orientations”.

It’s reminiscent of the OneLove armbands that have become popular with a lot of soccer players in Europe.

Eight captains armbands that will be allowed in the FIFA Women’s World Cup.
The upper left shows the “Unite For Inclusion” armband that captains in the Women’s World Cup will be allowed by FIFA to wear.

The OneLove armbands were banned by FIFA for the 2022 World Cup, played in Qatar where it is illegal to be gay.

Previously Australian soccer official James Johnson had predicted FIFA would allow a rainbow armband. While this isn’t quite a rainbow armband, at least it’s better than the all-out ban in Qatar.

With the Women’s World Cup played in Australia and New Zealand — where the rights of gay, lesbian, bi and trans people are elevated — and with the number of out gay, lesbian, bi and trans women expected to compete in the tournament, FIFA had to allow something.