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World Cup 2022 – One Love armband ban: “I’m ashamed, FIFA is pathetic”

Yoann, how did you react FIFA’s decision to ban the One Love bracelet, a symbol of diversity and inclusion ?

YL: I didn’t believe it. And when the information was confirmed to me, I immediately said to myself: “They are completely crazy.” In addition, I remind you, and this is not a detail, that this bracelet was already a watered down version that did not fully respect the codes of the LGBTQIA+ flag. It was an all-purpose armband, built precisely so as not to offend feelings. But there, banning this armband is taking people for idiots. FIFA is sending a terrible signal. Parents already struggle to get their kids into football for a whole host of reasons, FIFA just gave them an extra one.

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You have been fighting homophobia in football for several years. What message is FIFA sending with this ban?

YL: I have been an activist for more than 20 years, but I have always been a moderate. I will never give a lesson. But for world football’s governing body to show such contempt for the gay cause drives me crazy. I don’t know if FIFA realizes how devastating this is to the amateur world. She gives reason to the haters who have made the rejection of the other a good will. Implicitly, FIFA tells us: “There are people on the sidelines, but who cares.”

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Will this decision weaken your fight?

YL: In addition to gay children or girls not being able to live their sexuality freely in their club, it is first and foremost a matter of education. We are talking about a social problem. We could hope that football would pass on this message to combat the persecution of minorities. I hoped but I was stupid because nothing can be expected from this FIFA which has no humanitarian convictions. Honestly today I feel ashamed. This institution stinks.

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