What does the rainbow armband mean? Will England football captain Harry Kane wear one at Qatar 2022 World Cup

England are one of several nations who will be sending an anti-discriminatory message at this year’s tournament.

England captain Harry Kane will wear an armband sporting a rainbow design at this winter’s Qatar World Cup to help send an anti-discriminatory message against homophobia.

The Three Lions skipper will be one of nine on-field leaders from European countries who will make the gesture in the upcoming tournament.

Kane has worn a rainbow armband in the past, and did so at last summer’s Euro 2020 finals in honour of Pride Month, including a match against Germany. Die Mannschaft captain Manuel Neuer also wore a similar armband for that fixture.

Here’s everything you need to know about the rainbow armband, and Kane’s decision to wear one...

Will Harry Kane wear a rainbow armband at the Qatar World Cup?

Yes, the England captain will be sporting a rainbow armband in Qatar this winter.

The gesture is designed to send a clear message of support to the LGBTQ community, as well as acting as a refutation to homophobia and discrimination.

Alongside Kane, eight other captains from European nations will also wear rainbow armbands.

A brief statement on the matter read: “We may all be competing against each other on the pitch but we stand together against all forms of discrimination. This is even more relevant at a time when division is common in society.”

As well as the multi-coloured design, the armband in question will also display the message: “One Love”.

Why do people wear the rainbow armband?

The rainbow has long since been a symbol of the LGBTQ community, and was adpoted in 1978.

The colours on a rainbow flag reflect the diversity of the LGBTQ community, and the spectrum of human sexuality and gender.

Various variations of the flag have been created, each with the intention of representing members and segments of the broader community.

As such, the decision to wear a rainbow armband at the Qatar World Cup is a direct acknowledgment of the belief in equality and inclusivity in relation to matters of sexuality and gender.

How does Qatar handle LGBTQ rights?

Members of the LGBTQ community face legal challenges in Qatar not experienced by non-members.

In particular, male homosexuality is illegal in Qatar, and is punishable by up to seven years in prison and a fine.

As well as the penal code, the gulf state also runs Sharia courts, where the punishment for Muslim men engaging in same-sex activity could technically receive the death penalty. It’s worth pointing out, however, that there has been no recorded occurrence of this happening.

In addition, the Qatari government does not recognise same-sex marriage or civil partnerships, nor does it allow people in Qatar to campaign for LGBTQ rights.

Will LGBTQ fans be allowed at the Qatar World Cup?

Fatma Al-Nuaimi, the Executive Director of Communications for the Supreme Committee for Delivery & Legacy of the World Cup 2022, says Qatar has hosted around 600 international events since being awarded hosting rights and claims that there have been no incidents of discrimination.

Speaking to SBS News, she said: “We keep assuring everyone that everyone is welcome.

“Everyone will be able to come, enjoy the games and support their teams, regardless of their background, religion or gender.”