Malta Independent

Lloris suggests he will not wear rainbow armband in Qatar


France captain Hugo Lloris has hinted he will not wear a rainbow‐colored armband with a rainbow heart design to cam‐ paign against discrimina­tion during World Cup games in Qatar.

France, the defending World Cup champion, was among eight of the 13 European soccer teams going to Qatar who in September joined the "OneLove" campaign, which started in the Netherland­s.

FIFA rules prohibit teams from bringing their own arm‐ band designs to the World Cup and insist they must use equip‐ ment provided by the governing body.

Asked on Monday about the initiative during a news confer‐ ence at France's training ground, Lloris was skeptical.

"Before we start anything, we need the agreement of FIFA, the agreement of the (French) fed‐ eration," Lloris said. "Of course, I have my personal opinion on the topic. And it's quite close to the (French federation) presi‐ dent's."

French federation president Noel Le Graet previously said he would prefer Lloris did not wear it because he does not want his country to lecture oth‐ ers.

"When we are in France, when we welcome foreigners, we often want them to follow our rules, to respect our culture, and I will do the same when I go to Qatar, quite simply," Lloris said. "I can agree or disagree with their ideas, but I have to show respect."

Armbands are the latest bat‐ tleground for players to push political messages linked to the World Cup hosted in Qatar, where homosexual acts are ille‐ gal and the treatment of mi‐ grant workers building projects for the tournament has been a decade‐long controvers­y.

The Tottenham goalkeeper, however, added that France players would likely join forces for a collective action in relation to the respect of human rights in Qatar.

"We can't remain insensitiv­e to these issues. It will be done in a few days, or hours, we will see," Lloris said.

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