Top US diplomat criticizes FIFA armband threat at World Cup

Tuesday, the U.S.'s top diplomat slammed FIFA's decision to threaten World Cup players with yellow cards if they wear armbands in support of inclusiveness and diversity.

U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken said it was "always troubling" when he saw any limitations on freedom of expression during a news conference with his Qatari counterpart.

Blinken remarked at Doha's Diplomatic Club, "It's especially so when the expression is for diversity and for inclusion."

"And in my opinion, nobody on a football field should have to decide between upholding these ideals and playing for their team," he continued.

Despite seven European countries having stated their intention to wear them prior to the competition, no players donned the "One Love" armbands on Monday.

When prompted to respond to Blinken's remarks, FIFA cited a previous statement regarding the "No Discrimination" armbands being permitted at the competition as a part of a deal it attempted to reach with soccer federations.

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