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England prepared to be fined for Harry Kane wearing One Love armband in Qatar | World News

FA chief executive Mark Bullingham has told Sky News that they are braced to be fined for England captain Harry Kane wearing a “One Love” armband at the World Cup.

In an interview at the England training camp in Qatar, Mr Bulligham revealed FIFA was yet to send a response two months after the FA’s request to wear the multicoloured garment.

While not directly referencing anti-LGBT laws, the armband is intended to promote inclusivity.

FIFA usually prohibits the addition of unsanctioned slogans to kits and recently urged teams not to indulge in giving morality lessons at the first World Cup in the Middle East.

“They haven’t given us any response to our letter,” Mr Bullingham told Sky News.

“I think there’s a possibility that we might be fined. And if we are, then we’ll pay the fine.

“We think it’s really important to show our values. And that’s what we’ll be doing.”

The FA had assurances gay fans would be safe to come and not discriminated against by Qatari authorities.

Mr Bullingham said: “It’s sad for us that quite a few of our LGBTQ fans have decided not to come and I know a lot of our Three Lions Pride members are not coming.

“And that was frustrating because they didn’t get the information they wanted in time to make their arrangements.”

England will continue to use its presence in Qatar to pursue more compensation for families of low-paid workers and a permanent migrant worker centre.

Mr Bullingham added: “I think when you look at everything that’s been achieved over the last four years, there has been really positive progress.

“What’s critical for us though, is these last two outstanding issues should be brought through. We’ll be putting a lot of pressure on FIFA, together with a bunch of other European countries to do that.”

Read more:
‘Not fair’ to expect political statements from footballers
Iran players ‘can make own choice to protest’ against regime

England open their World Cup campaign against Iran on Monday.

Gareth Southgate led England to the World Cup semi-final in 2018 and the European Championship final last year.

Mr Bullingham said: “We go into any major tournament wanting to do as well as possible and we think we’re one of between six and eight teams that could win the trophy.”

After six years in charge, Southgate’s future has been questioned after a six-game winless run.

He continued: “We believe he’s doing a brilliant job. He’s done fantastically in the last two senior tournaments and we want him to carry on leading us.”

While Southgate remains under contract under 2024, could he walk away after the World Cup – particularly if England replicated its 1966 triumph – and who could replace him?

Mr Bullingham said: “Would that not be lovely problem to have if we win the trophy? We have secured Gareth until 2024 and we are confident he is going to lead us moving forwards.”

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