Following FIFA's decision to impose sporting sanctions on those donning the "One Love" armband at World Cup matches in Qatar, the UEFA Working Group associations involved have released the following statement.
FIFA has been very clear that it will impose sporting sanctions if our captains wear the armbands on the field of play. This is an unprecendented event in the history of the World Cup.
As national federations, we can’t put our players in a position where they could face sporting sanctions including bookings, so we have asked the captains not to attempt to wear the armbands in FIFA World Cup games. We were prepared to pay fines that would normally apply to breaches of kit regulations and had a strong commitment to wearing the armband. However we cannot put our players in the situation where they might be booked or even forced to leave the field of play.
We are very frustrated by the FIFA decision - we wrote to FIFA in September informing them of our wish to wear the One Love armband to actively support inclusion in football, and had no response. Our players and coaches are disappointed – they are strong supporters of inclusion and will show support in other ways.
DFB President Bernd Neuendorf: "We are experiencing an unprecedented first in the history of the World Cup. We will not allow the consequences of this confrontation brought about by FIFA to fall on Manuel Neuer's shoulders."