England and Wales prepared to defy Fifa and wear OneLove captain’s armband

England's Harry Kane wearing a OneLove captain's armband (PA)
England's Harry Kane wearing a OneLove captain's armband (PA)

England and Wales will defy Fifa and wear their OneLove captain's armband despite the world governing body launching their own social awareness campaign.

Harry Kane and Gareth Bale are among the seven captains that will wear the armband, along with the skippers of Belgium, Denmark, the Netherlands, Germany and Switzerland.

The campaign is designed to highlight discrimination against the LGBTQ+ community in Qatar and concerns over the welfare of migrant labour.

France had also been expected to participate but captain Hugo Lloris has decided against taking part, in order to “show respect to Qatar”.

Fifa launched their own armband campaign on Saturday, in partnership with United Nations agencies, with different messages prepared for each round.

Messages include “#SaveThePlanet”, “#NoDiscrimination” and “#FootballUnitesTheWorld”, which will be worn during the first round of group games.

Fifa have instructed all competing nations to wear their armband, but the Football Association and the Football Association of Wales are understood to be pressing ahead with the OneLove campaign regardless.

“We respect Fifa’s request but we are committed to wearing our OneLove armbands in this World Cup,” said an FA source.

Mark Bullingham, the FA's chief executive, has previously said England are prepared run the risk of being fined by world football’s governing body. It is unclear whether Fifa will follow through on their threats as yet.

England open their tournament against Iran on Monday, while Wales face the United States later the same day.