Football bosses want to keep playing the game

All the brave words about football teams taking a stand against oppression at the World Cup have melted.  The English authorities took the lead to declare that team captains will not, after all, wear One Love armbands during games.

The U-turn came after Fifa football bosses threatened on Sunday that players wearing the armbands could face yellow cards or be forced to leave the pitch.  Back at the 1968 Mexico Olympics during a medal ceremony, black American athletes Tommie Smith and John Carlos risked their sporting careers to take a stand against racism. 

Each raised a fist in to symbolise black power during the US national anthem. Australian Peter Norman wore an Olympic Project for Human Rights pin and stood in solidarity with them. 

Smith and Carlos were suspended from the team by the US Olympic Committee two days later.  American football player Colin Kaepernick also faced real penalties when he confronted racism.

But 2022 World Cup teams ran away from the issues they claimed to be tackling. The One Love campaign was initiated in 2020 to promote diversity and inclusion, but instead nationalism won out against oppression and inequality.  Sporting bosses have made it clear they don’t care about inequality. It’s time to give oppression, and those that profit from it, a red card.

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