“Gianni Infantino explained to me why he made the choice not to allow the Red Devils to wear a One Love armband, according to Fifa rules. These rules do not apply in the stands, I took off my jacket and presented my armband”she explained at the microphone of RTBF.
“I think it was a symbolically strong gesture, that Belgium had to carry the message”
Under the threat of “sporting penalties” by Fifa, Belgium and six other European nations present in Qatar – Germany, England, Denmark, the Netherlands, Wales and Switzerland – have waived their captain wearing this colorful armband symbolizing inclusion and diversity. “I think it was a symbolically strong gesture, that Belgium had to carry the message”added the Minister.
“I know that Eden Hazard (the captain of the selection) would have liked to wear it on the ground”continued Hadja Lahbib, adding that she had arrived in Qatar at the start of the tournament in order to have “frank discussions” with Qatari diplomacy and “defending human rights”.
Another minister, the German Nancy Faeser, in charge of the Interior and whose portfolio covers sports, also appeared in the stands with this armband during the match of Germany against Japan, scheduled earlier in the day at the Khalifa International Stadium in Doha. On the lawn, at the time of the traditional pre-match team photo, German players ostensibly got their hands on each other in front of the mouth in an apparent sign of protest against the decision of Fifa.