Alex Scott wears OneLove armband in support of LGBTQ+ community, after England backdown

The World Cup has kicked off in Qatar following controversy surrounding the countries human rights records. And there has been much focus around homosexuality which is illegal in Qatar and anyone found participating in same-sex sexual activity can be punished by up to seven years in prison.

Seven European teams – England, the Netherlands, Wales, Belgium, Switzerland, Germany, and Denmark – had planned on wearing the OneLove armband, but they backed down after FIFA’s threatened on-field punishment in the form of a yellow card for any captain who wore it.

However television presenter, Alex Scott, who was capped for England 140 times, chose to wear it during a live interview on the BBC.

Speaking ahead of the opening match of the tournament between Qatar and Ecuador, Scott explained that she considered boycotting the World Cup but believes that would have been the easy option.

She said: “I totally understand their reasons as well as a whole bunch of fans from the LGBTQ+ community around the world who don’t want to be here… Gianni Infantino (FIFA President) you are not gay you won’t understand what it’s like going to a country to travel where you fear for your life due to your preference of whom you want to love.”

“To keep saying football is for everyone… It’s not because people haven’t been able to travel to support their teams out of fear, so you can’t say football is for everyone it. When you sit and have conversations, I’ve had conversations about I should stay home, I should boycott, and I personally think that would be the easy option to do just that.”

Presenter Gary Lineker asked Scott ‘why are you here?’

Scott replied, “Because I love my job and when I think about sitting here and having the tougher conversations, and it’s bigger, isn’t it, we’re talking about migrant workers, the LGBTQ+ community, women’s rights. Think about four years ago, I was the first female pundit for the BBC at a World Cup. You think how far we’ve come in four years.

The OneLove campaign aims to “promote inclusion and send a message against discrimination of any kind”.

The OneLove initiative was launched by the football association of the Netherlands, whose captain wore the armband in last year’s delayed Euro 2020 tournament.

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