SYMBOL During Belgium's victory over Canada (1-0), Hadja Lahbib was present in the stand of honor alongside, in particular, the FIFA President
Belgian Minister of Foreign Affairs, Hadja Lahbib, talking with the President of FIFA, during the match between Belgium and Canada, November 23, 2022. — Natacha Pisarenko/AP/SIPA
It’s a new disavowal for Gianni Infantino. The Belgian Minister for Foreign Affairs, Hadja Lahbib, has in the gallery the “One Love” armband, which had been refused to Belgium and to other European selections, during the victory of the Red Devils against Canada (1-0) Wednesday in Qatar.
Hadja Lahbib was present in the stand of honor at the al-Rayyan stadium alongside, in particular, the President of FIFA. “Gianni Infantino explained to me why he had made the choice not to allow the Red Devils to wear a “One Love” armband, according to FIFA rules. These rules do not apply in the bleachers, I have removed my jacket and I presented my armband,” at the RTBF microphone.
“Belgium had to convey the message”
Under the threat of “sporting sanctions” by FIFA, Belgium and six other European nations present in Qatar – Germany, England, Denmark, Netherlands, Wales and Switzerland – have renounced to what their captain wears this colorful armband symbolizing inclusion and diversity.
“I think it was a symbolically strong gesture, that Belgium needed to carry the message,” the minister. “I know that Eden Hazard (the national team captain) would have liked to wear it on the pitch,” said Hadja Lahbib, adding that she arrived in Qatar from the start. purpose of the tournament to have “frank discussions” with Qatari diplomacy and “defending human rights”.
Another minister, the German Nancy Faeser, in charge of the Interior and whose portfolio covers Sports, also appeared in the stands with this armband during Germany’s match against Japan (1-2), scheduled for earlier today at the Khalifa International Stadium in Doha. On the lawn, at the time of the traditional pre-match team photo, the German players ostensibly put their hands in front of their mouths in protest against FIFA’s decision.