Qatar World Cup: England captain Harry Kane risks ban if he wears rainbow ‘OneLove’ armband

England’s captain could be banned from the pitch for wearing a rainbow armband.

A defiant Harry Kane vowed he was prepared to risk a sanction from world football chiefs to maintain his team’s values.

Unless FIFA backs down today, the talismanic striker could face an immediate yellow card this afternoon if he walks out wearing the “OneLove” arm-band as England take on Iran in their opening match.

And if he wears it again in their second match, the skipper could be slapped with another yellow card, automatically banning him from the third game.

Last night there were crisis talks as the standoff continued, but England’s Football Association remained firm on taking a moral stand over wearing the rainbow armband, which is intended to signal respect for gay rights and equality in general.

Camera IconA defiant Harry Kane vowed he was prepared to risk a sanction from world football chiefs to maintain his team’s values. Credit: Eddie Keogh – The FA/The FA via Getty Images

Kane said: “We have made it clear as a team and an organisation that we want to wear the armband. I know that the FA and FIFA are talking, and we will have a decision, but I want to wear it.”

Wales skipper Gareth Bale and other team captains also face sanctions if they wear the OneLove armband.

Australia’s first openly gay footballer Josh Cavallo hit out at Qatar hosting the major sporting event.

“It’s not the first time we’ve heard ‘stick to football’ .The attacks on the LGBTQ+ community from World Cup leaders affect so many who live in silence because of your draconian ways,” he said.

It is the latest crisis to dog the most controversial World Cup in history, but as the tournament finally got underway in Qatar, England manager Gareth Southgate vowed to lift the gloom back home and “bring some real happiness”.

He pledged to “deliver” for England – and also promised that the team had been practising penalties, to avoid the traditional misery the team inflicts on the nation.

Thousands of workers are expected to throw “sickies” today to watch England’s match.

Southgate said: “Our country expects. The team is excited. Our challenge is to give our supporters a tournament that’s memorable.

“Our country is going through a difficult spell – not the same as some other countries – but we are in the middle of an economic recession, and life has been difficult for a lot of our people.

“So we want them to enjoy their football and have a journey with the team that brings some real happiness.”

Kane said: “We go into the tournament with hunger. We back ourselves against any team.”

The players also intend to “take the knee” – a symbolic gesture against racism – before the game.

The England captain said: “We feel we should. It is what we stand for as a team and have done for a considerable amount of time.

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