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.
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.