France captain Lloris suggests he will not wear rainbow armband at World Cup

The France captain Hugo Lloris has hinted he will not wear a rainbow-coloured armband with a rainbow heart design to campaign against discrimination during World Cup games in Qatar.

France, the defending champions, were among eight of the 13 European teams going to Qatar who in September joined the “OneLove” campaign, which started in the Netherlands.

Fifa rules prohibit teams from bringing their own armband designs to the World Cup and insist they must use equipment provided by the governing body.

Asked on Monday about the initiative during a news conference at France’s training ground, Lloris was sceptical.

“Before we start anything, we need the agreement of Fifa, the agreement of the [French] federation,” Lloris said. “Of course, I have my personal opinion on the topic. And it’s quite close to the [French federation] president’s.”

The French federation president, Noël Le Graët, previously said he would prefer Lloris did not wear it because he does not want his country to lecture others.

“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 said. “I can agree or disagree with their ideas, but I have to show respect.”

Armbands are the latest battleground for players to push political messages linked to the World Cup hosted in Qatar, where homosexual acts are illegal and the treatment of migrant workers building projects for the tournament has been a decade-long controversy.

Lloris added that France players would likely join forces for a collective action in relation to the respect of human rights in Qatar.
“We can’t remain insensitive to these issues,” the Tottenham goalkeeper said. “It will be done in a few days, or hours, we will see.”

Marcus Thuram was handed the last spot in France’s squad and the uncapped Axel Disasi was also called up on Monday after Presnel Kimpembe had to pull out with an injury. Thuram, a forward with Borussia Mönchengladbach, was added to Didier Deschamps’s list after the coach summoned only 25 players when he announced his squad last week, leaving one berth open. Disasi, 24, has not missed a minute of Monaco’s 15 league games this season.