Wales wears RAINBOW sleeve in defiant stand at Qatar World Cup

Wales survive early scare as Iran goal is ruled offside after Welsh captain Gareth Bale and teammates wear a RAINBOW sleeve in defiant stand ahead of crucial Qatar World Cup clash

Welsh players wore a rainbow sleeve during their warm-up ahead of the Iran match at the Qatar World Cup in a defiant stand.

Captain Gareth Bale led the way as all 26 players wore a white top with multi-coloured stripes running down each shoulder pre-match.

As the players returned down the tunnel, they later re-emerged in their normal red kit with white stripes on each sleeve for the crucial match.

Wales survived an early scare after Iran took the lead in the opening minutes, but VAR intervened to rule it out for offside.

The warm-up tops come after FIFA threatened a number of European nations with sporting sanctions if captains went ahead with plans to wear the OneLove armband during their opening games.

The federations of England, Wales, Belgium, the Netherlands, Switzerland, Germany and Denmark had said on Monday they had been put under pressure by FIFA not to wear the multi-coloured armband.

It is understood that Bale and other World Cup skippers would not even have been allowed on the pitch if they had worn the armbands.

Gareth Bale applauds as he warms up prior to the Qatar 2022 World Cup Group B football match between Wales and Iran

Jonny Williams (L) and Dylan Levitt of Wales prepare to enter the pitch for warm ups prior to the match

The German Football Association (DFB) claimed earlier this week that England and other teams were faced with ‘extreme blackmail’ or ‘massive sanctions’ that led to them dropping the gesture. 

The threat led to all seven countries abandoning the plans.

Germany protested against FIFA’s stance by covering their mouths for a team photo before their match against Japan on Wednesday, to highlight how they felt silenced.

They were followed by Wales deciding to wear rainbow sleeves during their warm-up today. 

Meanwhile, BBC presenter Alex Scott defied Fifa’s ban on the OneLove armband as she broadcast from pitchside ahead of England’s game on Monday.

Scott, a former England international with 140 caps, has been a vocal critic of Qatar’s treatment of LGBT people and the country’s human rights record. 

It is unclear what England will do when they face the United States this evening.

It comes after former Wales captain Laura McAllister was among female football fans who were ‘told to take off their rainbow bucket hats’ ahead of the Dragons’ first match against the US on Monday night. Men, however, were allowed to keep them on.

Homosexuality is illegal in the Gulf state and punishable by up to seven years in prison.

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