Roy Keane takes cut off England and Wales for 'One Love' armband U-turn 1 week ago

Roy Keane takes cut off England and Wales for 'One Love' armband U-turn

"What a message that would have sent."

Roy Keane had to wait until Day Two of the 2022 World Cup, in Qatar, but he hit the ground running with a strong take on an armband fiasco.

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The former Manchester United and Ireland captain was at Ahmad bin Ali Stadium, in Al Rayyan, for ITV's coverage of Wales' opening World Cup game against the USA.

Ahead of the game, Keane was asked, by host Mark Pougatch, about the decision by Wales and England not to have their captains, Gareth Bale and Harry Kane, wear 'One Love' armbands.

Ahead of both countries' openers, it was revealed that England and Wales had backed down and decided not to wear OneLove armbands after a threat from FIFA that their captains would face an instant yellow card for doing so. The pair had planned to wear the armbands to show as a sign of their commitment to gay rights and in support of human rights, along with a number of other nations.

Keane, who reserved his first "shocking" comment of the tournament for the Iran team that were beaten 6-2 by England, was far from impressed with the armband U-turn.

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Roy Keane

Roy Keane on armband U-turn

After a preamble on how big a World Cup is for the supporters of all nations that qualify, Mark Pougatch asked Roy Keane about the 'One Love' armbands and both England and Wales backing down from the FIFA threat of bookings. He responded:

"I think the players could have worn the armbands for the first game, and took the punishment, whatever that might be. Kane, they were saying, was risking a yellow card as that might be the punishment. But that would have been a great statement.

"If you get your yellow card, what a message that would have been, from Kane or Bale. Take your medicine, and then move on. Then, in the next game, you don't wear it because you don't want to be getting suspended, but I think it was a big mistake.

"Both players - and we are talking about Wales and England here - they should have stuck to their guns and done it. Whatever about pressures from the outside, or your own associations, have the belief - if that is what you believe - and go with it."

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Wales manager Rob Page told ITV that the team 'are not happy' with not wearing the armbands but could not run the risk of getting captain Gareth Bale booked for wearing it.

Ahead of the England win over Iran, BBC pundit Alex Scott wore a 'One Love' armband during the live broadcast of that game.

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