FIFA blocks ‘Love’ detail on Belgium’s World Cup jersey

Nov 20, 2022, 11:59 PM | Updated: Nov 21, 2022, 2:02 pm
FILE - Belgium's Kevin De Bruyne during the UEFA Nations League soccer match between the Netherland...

FILE - Belgium's Kevin De Bruyne during the UEFA Nations League soccer match between the Netherlands and Belgium at the Johan Cruyff ArenA in Amsterdam, Netherlands, on Sept. 25, 2022. FIFA has denied Belgium's request to wear team jerseys with a 'Love' label at the World Cup in Qatar. The Belgian soccer federations says the ruling was because of a commercial link to Belgium's signature dance music festival Tomorrowland. Multi-color detail on the white shirt had been described as a "symbol for mutual values on diversity, equality and inclusivity." (AP Photo/Peter Dejong, File)

(AP Photo/Peter Dejong, File)

              Kevin De Bruyne of Belgium's national soccer team arrives with teammates at Hamad International airport in Doha, Qatar, Saturday, Nov. 19, 2022 ahead of the upcoming World Cup. Belgium will play the first match in the World Cup against Canada on Nov. 23. (AP Photo/Hassan Ammar)

DOHA, Qatar (AP) — FIFA has denied Belgium’s request to wear team jerseys with a “Love” label at the World Cup in Qatar because of a commercial link to a rave festival.

Multi-color detail on the white shirt was described as a “symbol for mutual values on diversity, equality and inclusivity” at the September launch by Belgium’s signature electronic music event Tomorrowland.

But FIFA rules on team uniforms and equipment forced Belgium to change its World Cup plans for its first alternate jersey to the traditional red.

“We had to skip it for commercial reasons because of referring to Tomorrowland,” the Belgian soccer federation said Monday.

FIFA declined to comment on its ruling regarding the second-choice jersey, which was made several weeks ago.

The decision emerged Monday after FIFA flexed its power to crack down on Belgium and six other European teams for wanting their captains to wear the “One Love” armband with a multi-colored, heart-shaped logo in Qatar. The teams backed down when FIFA threatened instant yellow cards for each captain.

The armband, which breaks FIFA equipment rules, was to support a Dutch anti-discrimination campaign that drew attention to the host nation’s record on human rights.

The “One Love” campaign highlighted little-known FIFA rules that Belgium also fell foul of.

All 32 World Cup teams had to seek FIFA approval for designs and colors of three contrasting team uniforms months ahead of the tournament. FIFA has now approved the white Belgium jersey with the same colored trim but the “Love” label covered up on the inside of the collar.

“In principle we could play in it (at the World Cup),” the Belgian soccer federation said, “but meanwhile we chose to play in red for the group-stage matches.”

Belgium starts its Group F program against Canada on Wednesday. The 2018 World Cup semifinalists then play Morocco and Croatia, the losing finalist from four years ago.

A similar case enforced by European soccer body UEFA last year saw Ajax denied permission to include a “Three Little Birds” motif on a shirt inspired by reggae music icon Bob Marley for Champions League games.

Ajax could wear the black shirt with gold, red and green trim to honor its fans’ anthem but UEFA ruled the motif had to be removed from the back of the shirt.

___

AP World Cup coverage: https://apnews.com/hub/world-cup and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

AP

England's Raheem Sterling looks down the field during the World Cup group B soccer match between En...
Associated Press

England player Raheem Sterling to return to World Cup

DOHA, Qatar (AP) — Raheem Sterling will rejoin England’s World Cup squad after a break-in at his home in the U.K. The Chelsea forward had left England’s camp in Qatar to be with his family, which meant he missed his country’s 3-0 win against Senegal in the round of 16 on Sunday. But he will […]
1 day ago
New York Rangers center Barclay Goodrow (21) and Vegas Golden Knights right wing Keegan Kolesar (55...
Associated Press

Rangers use 4-goal 3rd period to beat Golden Knights 5-1

LAS VEGAS (AP) — Mika Zibanejad had two goals and an assist, and the New York Rangers scored three times in 1:54 in the third period to beat the Vegas Golden Knights 5-1 on Wednesday night. New York’s Artemi Panarin reached 600 career points, picking up his milestone point when he found Zibanejad, whose one-timer […]
1 day ago
FILE - Boston Red Sox's Xander Bogaerts fields the ball hit by Minnesota Twins' Luis Arraez during ...
Associated Press

AP source: Bogaerts to Padres for 11 years, $280 million

SAN DIEGO (AP) — The San Diego Padres and Xander Bogaerts agreed to a blockbuster $280 million, 11-year contract Wednesday night, adding the All-Star slugger to an already deep lineup. A person familiar with the negotiations confirmed the contract to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because it was pending a physical. The Padres […]
1 day ago
Phoenix Suns guard Chris Paul drives on Boston Celtics guard Marcus Smart (36) during the second ha...
Associated Press

Tatum, Brown lead Celtics to easy 125-98 win over Suns

PHOENIX (AP) — The hardest task these days for the Boston Celtics might be staying humble. Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown each scored 25 points, Malcolm Brogdon added 16 off the bench and the rolling Celtics embarrassed the sloppy Phoenix Suns 125-98 on Wednesday night. “You enjoy the moment, but you’ve got to understand why […]
1 day ago
FILE - Chicago Cubs catcher Willson Contreras heads back to the dugout during the team's baseball g...
Associated Press

AP source: Cardinals, Contreras agree to 5-year contract

SAN DIEGO (AP) — Willson Contreras is going to St. Louis to replace Yadier Molina at catcher, agreeing to an $87.5 million, five-year contract with the Cardinals on Wednesday. A person familiar with the negotiations confirmed the move to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because the deal was pending a physical. The addition […]
1 day ago
Utah Jazz guard Jordan Clarkson, rear, fouls Golden State Warriors forward Jonathan Kuminga during ...
Associated Press

Fontecchio lifts Jazz past Warriors in short-handed matchup

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — Simone Fontecchio dunked with 1.4 seconds remaining off Nickeil Alexander-Walker’s steal and the Utah Jazz beat the Golden State Warriors 124-123 on Wednesday night in a matchup of short-handed teams. “I couldn’t imagine anything like that. Just an amazing feeling, really happy and excited the way we got there,” said […]
1 day ago
FIFA blocks ‘Love’ detail on Belgium’s World Cup jersey