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HomeWorld NewsTop U.S. Diplomat Blinken Criticizes FIFA Armband Threat At World Cup

Top U.S. Diplomat Blinken Criticizes FIFA Armband Threat At World Cup

DOHA, Qatar (AP) — America’s high diplomat on Tuesday criticized a call by FIFA to threaten gamers on the World Cup with yellow playing cards in the event that they put on armbands supporting inclusion and variety.

Talking alongside his Qatari counterpart at a information convention, U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken stated it was “always concerning … when we see any restrictions on freedom of expression.”

“It’s especially so when the expression is for diversity and for inclusion,” Blinken stated at Doha’s Diplomatic Membership. “And in my judgment, at least no one on a football pitch should be forced to choose between supporting these values and playing for their team.”

FIFA didn’t instantly reply to a request for remark over Blinken’s comment.

Simply hours earlier than the primary gamers with the armbands in help of the “One Love” marketing campaign had been to take the sphere on Monday, soccer’s governing physique warned they might instantly be proven yellow playing cards — two of which result in a participant’s expulsion from that sport and in addition the following.

No participant wore the “One Love” armbands Monday although seven European groups had stated they deliberate to put on them forward of the event. England’s Harry Kane wore a FIFA-approved “No Discrimination” armband that was supplied as a compromise within the match with Iran.

Blinken arrived in Qatar on Monday, the place he visited a youth soccer program tied to the World Cup. He later watched the U.S. tie with Wales on Monday night time.

U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken, proper, and Qatar International Minister Mohammed Bin Adbulrahman Al Thani, left, stroll to a media occasion on the Diplomatic Membership, on Nov. 22, 2022.

“We know that without workers, including many migrant workers, this World Cup simply would not have been possible,” Blinken stated. “Qatar has made meaningful strides in recent years to its labor laws to expand worker rights.”

Nonetheless, he made some extent so as to add: “Real work remains on these issues, and the United States will continue to work with Qatar on strengthening labor rights and human rights more broadly long after the World Cup is over.”

Blinken spoke alongside Qatar’s overseas minister, Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al Thani, on the information convention.

Blinken’s go to comes as a part of a strategic dialogue with Qatar, which additionally hosts some 8,000 American troops at its large Al-Udeid Air Base that’s serves because the ahead headquarters of the U.S. navy’s Central Command. The bottom was a key node in America’s chaotic 2021 withdrawal from Afghanistan and evacuation of Afghan civilians.

One main situation to debate is Iran. Nonproliferation consultants say Iran now has sufficient uranium enriched as much as 60% — a brief step from weapons-grade ranges — to reprocess into gas for a nuclear weapon if it chooses to take action.

Tehran insists its program is peaceable, although it has drastically expanded it for the reason that collapse of its 2015 nuclear take care of world powers.

In the meantime, Iran is being rocked by monthslong protests following the Sept. 16 loss of life of a 22-year-old girl who had been earlier arrested by the nation’s morality police.

Comply with Jon Gambrell on Twitter at www.twitter.com/jongambrellAP.

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