OneLove row: Denmark vows not to re-elect Infantino
The Danish Football Association (DBU) has said that it would not support the re-election of Gianni Infantino as FIFA president after world football’s governing body threatened teams wearing the OneLove armband with a yellow card at a minimum.
Speaking at a media briefing on Wednesday, DBU president Jesper Moeller said that he was angered by FIFA’s actions and that the association had ruled out voting for Infantino in next year’s election.
“There is only one candidate, and we’ll have to see if there’s another candidate, there is still time, but Denmark will not be supporting the current president,” he said.
“This situation is quite extraordinary. I’m not just disappointed, I’m angry. This is my seventh finals… It is that the players have to be exposed to this is completely unacceptable. We have to respond to it,” Moeller added.
Jakob Jensen, CEO of the DBU, outlined the communication that the association had with the governing body, telling them before the tournament that they intended to wear the armband in support of diversity.
While it is not solely aimed at the rights of the LGBTQ community, the armband carries special significance in Qatar, where homosexuality is illegal and punishable with prison.
Jensen said that the English FA was then expressly told at a meeting that the team captain might receive a yellow card for wearing the armband.
Denmark have worked hand-in-hand with the other Nordic football associations as they visited Qatar and raised concerns over migrant workers’ rights and diversity, with Jensen saying that they had witnessed some success.
“I think if you listen to the speech that Infantino gave in his press conference, there was a lot of words, and if you listen in between those words, you could also hear him addressing the very critique that we’ve been voicing for years,” Jensen told reporters.
The government of Qatar has said its labour system was still a work in progress but denied allegations in a 2021 Amnesty report that thousands of migrant workers in the country were being trapped and exploited.
The DBU has come in for stark criticism at home for not simply instructing captain Simon Kjaer to wear the armband and accept whatever sanction came their way.
“We’re now getting hammered the most, but I think the hammering should be on FIFA for not allowing what is a very simple message,” Jensen said.