WorldTop U.S. diplomat criticizes FIFA armband threat at World...

Top U.S. diplomat criticizes FIFA armband threat at World Cup


DOHA, Qatar (AP) — America’s prime 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 mentioned it was “at all times regarding … once we see any restrictions on freedom of expression.”

“It’s particularly so when the expression is for range and for inclusion,” Blinken mentioned at Doha’s Diplomatic Membership. “And in my judgment, at the least nobody on a soccer pitch needs to be pressured to decide on between supporting these values and enjoying for his or her crew.”

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 assist of the “One Love” marketing campaign have been to take the sector on Monday, soccer’s governing physique warned they’d instantly be proven yellow playing cards – two of which result in a participant’s expulsion from that recreation and likewise the subsequent.

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

SEE ALSO: World Cup crew captains ditch ‘OneLove’ armbands after penalty menace

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.

Whereas brazenly vital of FIFA, Blinken struck a extra measured tone with Qatar. This energy-rich Mideast nation has been criticized forward of the match over its remedy of migrant laborers and criminalizing homosexual and lesbian intercourse.

“We all know that with out staff, together with many migrant staff, this World Cup merely wouldn’t have been potential,” Blinken mentioned. “Qatar has made significant strides lately to its labor legal guidelines to increase employee rights.”

Nonetheless, he made a degree so as to add: “Actual work stays on these points, and america will proceed to work with Qatar on strengthening labor rights and human rights extra broadly lengthy after the World Cup is over.”

Blinken spoke alongside Qatar’s overseas minister, Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al Thani, on the information convention. Requested by a Qatar-based journalist in regards to the “media assaults” on his nation, Sheikh Mohammed dismissed them.

“As for the reforms the state of Qatar, I feel there have been some quarters who didn’t take this into consideration and relied on preconceived notions,” he mentioned. “After all we can not change the opinion of those that simply wish to assault us or distort our picture.”

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 specialists say Iran now has sufficient uranium enriched as much as 60% – a brief step from weapons-grade ranges – to reprocess into gasoline 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 Iran’s 2015 nuclear take care of world powers.

In the meantime, Iran is being shaken by monthslong protests following the Sept. 16 loss of life in custody of a 22-year-old lady arrested by the nation’s morality police.

A crackdown by authorities and violence surrounding the demonstrations have killed at the least 434 individuals, in keeping with Human Rights Activists in Iran, a gaggle that’s been monitoring the protests. Iran is enjoying on the World Cup as effectively, and can face the U.S. on Nov. 29.

“The world is rightly targeted on what’s taking place within Iran,” Blinken mentioned. “The protests which have arisen for the reason that killing of Mahsa Amini are one thing which have galvanized the world.”

Questioned in regards to the U.S. latest determination to protect Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman over the lawsuit focusing on him for the killing of Washington Publish journalist Jamal Khashoggi, Blinken mentioned the Biden administration would “merely observe the legislation” when it comes to granting immunity to a head of state.

Blinken added there have been no plans for the crown prince to go to the U.S.

Copyright © 2022 The Washington Occasions, LLC.


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