Netherlands boss Louis van Gaal said FIFA must be questioned regarding their stance over the ‘One Love’ armbands at the Qatar World Cup.
The Netherlands were one of seven nations planning to don the anti-discrimination armband, which included a “heart containing colours representative of all backgrounds”.
However, a U-turn was announced on Monday after it was confirmed that captains who wore it would face disciplinary action in the form of a yellow card.
FIFA released a statement stating that its ‘No Discrimination’ campaign would now start during the group stages after it was originally planned for the quarter-finals. The statement added that messaging opportunities for the campaign would be provided to the participating teams via captains’ armbands and that as per FIFA regulations “the captain of each team must wear the captain’s armband provided by FIFA.”
The Dutch FA – which began the One Love campaign prior to Euro 2020 – was the first to release a statement before a joint one from the Football Associations of England, Wales, Belgium, Denmark, Germany, the Netherlands and Switzerland.
Following the Netherlands’ 2-0 victory over Senegal in Group A, Van Gaal, who has previously been scathing about the decision to host the finals in Qatar, said: “I don’t want to answer political questions, but one thing is clear – we’re not going to wear an armband if we are going to get a yellow card.
“We need to ask if this is a correct act on behalf of FIFA. All of us need to ask if this is a proper act – this is crystal clear.”
Meanwhile, Van Gaal was satisfied with his side’s showing in Monday’s victory.
Eredivisie top scorer Cody Gakpo headed home in the 84th minute on his World Cup debut and Davy Klaassen struck deep into injury time as the Netherlands started their campaign in Qatar with a win.
He said: “Was it an efficient victory? Of course it was. Listen to me, we played with poor ball possession in the first half but nonetheless we created five chances.
“It was more balanced in the second half. We created one chance and scored twice and, to be honest, I was calm. I always had the feeling we would score. So it was well deserved although we were shoddy in possession.”