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Fifa orders Belgium to remove the word ‘love’ from the collar of the World Cup shirt

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Fifa has ordered Belgium to remove the word ‘love’ from their away shirts at the Qatar World Cup following a trade dispute.

The move follows Fifa’s warning to several teams that their captains would face yellow cards if they wore special OneLove armbands at the tournament, which forced those nations – including England and Wales , as well as Belgium – to abandon the plans. Those nations have now agreed to wear Fifa’s “indiscriminate” armbands instead.

Fifa is now pushing Belgium to remove the “love” wording embroidered on the collar of the team’s white away shirt. The Independent understands that this is a separate issue from the armband, which revolves around the Belgian Football Association’s commercial partnership with music festival Tomorrowland and manufacturer Adidas, which recently released a ‘love’ clothing collection to celebrate the collaboration.

It is unclear whether Belgium accepted the request and the Belgian FA have been contacted for comment.

The Netherlands launched the OneLove campaign ahead of Euro 2020 to promote diversity and inclusion. But it was announced on Monday morning that the captains of England, Wales, Belgium, the Netherlands, Switzerland, Germany and Denmark will not be wearing ‘OneLove’ armbands at the World Cup under pressure from Fifa.

According to HLN, Peter Bossaert, CEO of the Belgian Football Association, said: “We have always stood in solidarity with the participating countries by wearing the armband. You can’t just break that solidarity now. England were the first country to play after the announcement of the sanction. It is sportingly unfair to ask them to resist this pressure from Fifa.”

And Bossaert was reportedly stunned by FIFA’s order to remove the word “love” from their shirts.

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By Peter Kavinsky

Peter Kavinsky is the Executive Editor at cablefreetv.org