Ian Wright believes the captains should have upheld their promise to wear the OneLove armband despite threats from FIFA.
Captains of seven nations, including England, Wales and Germany, had insisted they would wear the armband in solidarity with the LGBTQ+ community.
However, homosexuality is illegal in Qatar, and the captains ultimately reneged on their promise after FIFA threatened sporting sanctions against anyone who defied their instruction.
The issue remains a hot topic, with players and ex-players among the people airing their opinions on the matter.
The Mirror reports that former England international Alex Scott defied FIFA by wearing the armband live on BBC One ahead of England’s opening game against Iran.
Meanwhile, a Danish journalist was reportedly stopped from filming by Qatari police and asked to take his armband off.
Former England international Wright believes players, including the Three Lions captain Harry Kane, should have worn the armband and dealt with the consequences rather than bowing to threats of sanctions.
“No protest without risk – if you’re going to protest, there’s some risk in it,” he said on ITV’s coverage of the Germany vs Japan match.
“I get the vibe from them, the Danes, [talking about] suing FIFA and all this other stuff. It’s like when you have a fight with someone, and the fight’s broken up, and you want to fight – it’s done.
“It’s ridiculous – are we going to sue them? For what? Wear the armband, take the consequences.”
The Arsenal legend also insisted that the sight of Kane and the other captains getting booked for supporting the LGBTQ+ community would have enhanced the power of the message.
“It would have been such a powerful protest,” Wright added. “The LGBTQ community will all see they’ve actually put something on the line like they do every day of their lives.”
Manuel Neuer had also insisted that he would wear the armband ahead of Germany’s opener, but even he backed down.
The German players decided to cover their mouths during the pre-match photo in protest against FIFA.
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