France goalkeeper Hugo Lloris is hinting that he won’t be wearing a rainbow-colored armband with a rainbow heart design as the team’s captain during the World Cup in Qatar, which begins next week.
FIFA rules don’t allow teams to have separate designs for their armbands, insisting that they use the equipment provided to them, especially during the World Cup.
While other team captains have supported the rainbow armband, which is in support of the LGBTQ+ community due to Qatar’s policies on same-sex unions, Lloris sounded on the fence Monday during a news conference.
“Before we start anything, we need the agreement of FIFA, the agreement of the (French) federation,” Lloris said via the Associated Press. “Of course, I have my personal opinion on the topic. And it’s quite close to the (French federation) president’s.”
French federation president Noel Le Graet has said he would prefer Lloris didn’t wear the rainbow armband, as he views it as France lecturing other countries on how to operate.
“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 explained. “I can agree or disagree with their ideas, but I have to show respect.”
Same-sex unions aren’t the only issues surrounding this Qatar World Cup. The small country has strict alcohol laws, though CEO of the World Cup, Nasser Al Khater, said it will be allowed in designated areas. Qatar also restricts women’s rights and the treatment of migrant workers building the stadiums for the tournament has been well-documented in a decade-long controversy.
Lloris said that France players will likely be sharing a collective message regarding the respect of human rights in Qatar soon.
“We can’t remain insensitive to these issues. It will be done in a few days, or hours, we will see,” Lloris said.
France is one of the favorites to win the tournament, as they did four years ago in Russia in 2018. They defeated Croatia, 4-2, with stars Paul Pogba — who won’t be available as he’s dealing with a knee injury — and Kylian Mbappe each scoring a goal. Antoine Griezmann kicked in a penalty for the team’s second goal as well.
France will arrive in Qatar on Wednesday and will prepare for their first matchup against Australia on Nov. 22. They are a part of Group D along with Denmark and Tunisia.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.