Belgium cannot attend the World Cup in Qatar while sporting its colorful warm-up shirt, according to FIFA.
On Wednesday, Belgium will face Canada to open their World Cup campaign. In Group F, Roberto Martinez's team will also face Morocco and Croatia.
But at FIFA's request, Belgium has been forced to make some last-minute changes to their uniform days before their tournament begins.
Before FIFA intervened on Monday and failed to guarantee that players would not receive a warning or potential suspension for the gesture, Eden Hazard was scheduled to wear the OneLove armband. Hazard will now follow in the footsteps of Harry Kane, Gareth Bale, and Virgil van Dijk by refusing to wear the armband for their World Cup games on Monday.
The word "love," which is on the inside of the collar and hidden from fans' view, has also forced Belgium to make changes to their white away uniform.
However, FIFA has also taken offense over Belgium’s warm-up shirt, which the players had been due to wear on the pitch during their pre-match preparations.
The reason for the change is that Belgium’s kits are inspired by the fireworks of Belgium’s famous music festival Tomorrowland, which aims to promote diversity, equality, and inclusion.
Belgium’s spokesperson, Stefan Van Loock, claims FIFA has made the requests due to a "commercial link" with Tomorrowland.
The festival’s logo is incorporated in the "o" of "love" on Belgium’s away kit, while FIFA claims the warm-up shirt colors reference Tomorrowland, even though there are no logos on the jersey.
"All countries are perplexed," said Peter Bossaert, head of Belgium’s Football Association.
"Most of my colleagues were at the opening match; I don’t think they saw anything of the spectacle." We had other concerns.
"The fact is that all of us cannot live with the attitude of FIFA." not even myself.
"The toughness of FIFA is shocking." We need to critically analyze our relationship.
"We need FIFA, but they also need us." We will see in the future how to proceed.’
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