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VW Criticizes FIFA After It Bans "One-Love" Anti-Hate Armbands at Qatar World Cup

Controversy has emerged from the organization of FIFA's World Cup in Qatar – there's even a Netflix documentary that showcases how workers were treated and the conditions they endured. Recently, World Cup organizers banned the "One Love" campaign, and people aren't happy. Volkswagen slams the decision, calling it "unacceptable."
One Love Armbands 6 photos
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Per Automotive News Europe, Volkswagen has publicly criticized the decision. However, it continues to sponsor the German Football Association (DFB). The German automaker seeks to make positive changes in football as it recognizes that something fundamental urgently needs to change in world soccer.

"If the European federations had sent such a visible signal for diversity at this tournament, the discussions and reactions show that something fundamental urgently needs to change in world soccer," the automaker's statement reads.

FIFA announced that it would sanction players who wore the "One Love" armband during games at the World Cup in Qatar. The organization threatened European team captains with yellow cards if they wore them and chose to support the LGBTQ movement.

The "One Love" initiative was announced in September as a joint campaign between the teams from England, Denmark, Germany, France, the Netherlands, Wales, Belgium, Switzerland, Norway, and Sweden. The armband was to be worn as a symbol of freedom of expression and equality. It features a rainbow flag inside the shape of a heart, accompanied by the text "One Love."

The ban isn't that much of a surprise, given that homosexuality is illegal in Qatar. The armband has been criticized for disregarding human rights standards.

As a response, people all over the world wanted to show their support for the initiative. According to Reuters, the Netherlands-based company that makes the bands announced that it sold out the stock after shipping 10,000 armbands, mainly in the past two weeks. It's preparing a new batch of 10,000 on the KNVB webshop for a price just above the manufacturing cost of five euros ($5.2).

The CEO of Badge Direct BV, Roland Heerkens, said, "The big boom came actually with the World Cup coming up and for sure the statement of FIFA to not allow these captain bands on the field."

Other organizations have already terminated their cooperation with the DFB, such as the popular German grocery store Rewe. The DFB is taking FIFA to the CAS (Court of Arbitration for Sport) to appeal the ban over the armband, and a quick ruling by the court might enable Manuel Neuer, the German team's captain, to wear the armband in the next game.


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