ERIC DIER says England are united behind skipper Harry Kane as he prepares to take on Fifa in the rainbow armband row.
Fifa boss Gianni Infantino announced rival armband plans as part of an extraordinary press conference yesterday in which he accused European nations of racism and hypocrisy over their criticism of hosts Qatar.
Dier has backed Kane’s decision to wear the OneLove armbandRichard Pelham / The Sun
GettyKane is set to make a statement by wearing the armband, right[/caption]
AlamyInfantino made some astonishing comments during a press conference at the weekend[/caption]
But Kane is still set to wear the rainbow on his sleeve for Monday’s opener with Iran and Dier said: “That’s just part of our beliefs, our principles. My values are given to me by my parents. In everything I do, I think if my mum would be happy with me or not.”
Germany skipper Manuel Neuer confirmed he would also support the LGBTQ+ community by wearing it.
Wales captain Gareth Bale and the skippers of Holland, Belgium, Denmark and Switzerland are donning the rainbow, too.
Backing Gareth Southgate’s Three Lions stand, Neuer said: “I will wear the OneLove armband. The power of it is good.”
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But French leader Hugo Lloris, who also captains Kane and Dier at Spurs, decided NOT to join in.
Dier added: “I respect what he wants to do. I respect everyone’s point of view and I’m very open to listen to what they believe is right and wrong.”
The FA insist the rainbow armband is part of a year-long campaign by the men’s and women’s teams and not specifically aimed at Qatar, where homosexuality is illegal.
But Kane, the FA and their European allies were already risking fines — or even bans for making political statements — under international football laws.
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The group of European nations, including FA chief exec Mark Bullingham, met last night to agree the next step in a row overshadowing the start of this World Cup.
Fifa unveiled its last-minute armband scheme — with the United Nations — to raise awareness of a variety of different issues.
And Infantino ranted: “Today I feel Qatari. Today I feel Arab. Today I feel African. Today I feel gay. Today I feel disabled. Today I feel a migrant worker. We’ve heard many moral lessons from Europe and the western world.
“But for what we Europeans have done over the past 3,000 years, we should apologise for the next 3,000 years before giving moral lessons here.
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“Reform and change takes time. It took hundreds of years in Europe.
“Any country can host an event. If North Korea wants to host something…
“Only engagement brings real change. We want to remain an organisation that unites the world.”