Belgium kit rejected by FIFA because ‘love’ is written inside collar

Belgium’s World Cup squad have had their away kit rejected by FIFA due to the word ‘love’ appearing inside the collar, a team spokesman has said.

The white shirt features a rainbow-coloured trim and has ‘love’ written inside where the label would usually appear.

It was inspired by the Belgian music festival Tomorrowland, which promotes diversity, equality and inclusivity.

Belgium spokesman Stefan Van Loock said FIFA banned the shirt because of commercial links to the festival – not the rainbow colours classically linked to the LGBTQ community.

The squad’s warm-up shirt has also been rejected due to references to Tomorrowland, Mr Van Loock said.

It comes as fans and members of the media report having rainbow items confiscated, despite assurances from Qatari and FIFA officials that fans would be free to wear them and wave flags.

Wales fan Laura McAllister, who stood for the FIFA council last year, tweeted about her experience following the Wales v USA game on Monday.

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US journalist Grant Wahl said he was detained for 25 minutes for wearing a rainbow T-shirt to the same game and was forced to remove it by officials.

FIFA ruled just before the tournament kicked off that England, Wales and other teams planning to wear ‘OneLove’ armbands would have their captains punished with yellow cards.

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The governing body has said Belgium will be able to wear their away shirts providing ‘love’ is taped over.

They were introduced in September and have been sported at several European games since.

Due to the FIFA ruling, the Red Devils will play their first three games in their home kit instead, Mr Van Loock said.

FIFA has not yet commented on the issue.

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