Denmark’s former Prime Minister decided she had enough of Fifa trying to ban the rainbow from the Qatar World Cup and wore a dress with the design to meet the president.
Helle Thorning-Schmidt, 55, a retired politician who served as Prime Minister of Denmark from 2011 to 2015, broke regulations in Qatar to wear the coloured dress.
She was also seen wearing the OneLove armband that has been controversially banned by Fifa as the senior executive with the Danish FA, posed for photos pitchside.
The armband has been banned by Fifa, and England captain Harry Kane, along with six other nations, including Denmark, were warned if they wore the band, they would face sanctions.
It was claimed any player seen wearing the armband would receive a yellow card if not further action.
The armband was designed to raise awareness about LGBTQ+ discrimination in Qatar, where same-sex relationships and the promotion of same-sex relationships are criminalised.
Chairman of DBU’s Governance and Development Committee, Thorning-Shmidt could be spotted wearing the brightly coloured dress from the stands.
There has been controversy around the band after Fifa chiefs said it couldn’t be worn, sparking a backlash online.
But the former Danish PM decided to ignore the Fifa ban, and as she met with Gianni Infantino ahead of the Denmark v Tunisia game, and she could be seen wearing an armband with her outfit.
Former England footballer Alex Scott also decided to ignore Fifa and wore the armband pitchside as she commentated on the Three Lions first match yesterday.
When asked by Ekstra Bladet about whether Denmark should not have gone ahead and put on the armband Thorning-Shmidt said: ‘You could have done that too, but you could have risked an entire game day’s quarantine.
‘This is what I understand FIFA has threatened.
‘Or other sanctions. Fifa has been a little tight-lipped about what sanctions could be envisaged.
‘I think it is a valid consideration. Now we’re going to play football. I am happy for the seven nations who have worked together for this, but maybe it is also time to say now we are playing football.
‘This does not mean that any of us are giving up the fight for LGBTQ+ rights to have a place in football in general.’
Speaking about the decision to wear the OneLove armband before it was axed, England captain Kane said: ‘I am honoured to join my fellow national team captains in supporting the important OneLove campaign.
‘As captains we may all be competing against each other on the pitch, but we stand together against all forms of discrimination.
‘This is even more relevant at a time when division is common in society. Wearing the armband together on behalf of our teams will send a clear message when the world is watching.’
Kane previously wore the armband during England’s Nations League fixtures in September.
As well as England and Wales’ captains, Germany, the Netherlands, Belgium, Denmark and Switzerland have also pulled out of wearing it in light of possible bookings by FIFA.
Their respective FAs were also involved in the joint statement, which concluded that they were collectively ‘very frustrated’ by the decision – which they also called ‘unprecedented’ – as they wanted to ‘actively support inclusion in football’.
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