Harry Kane: I wanted to wear OneLove armband in England’s World Cup opener
Harry Kane was “disappointed” to not wear the OneLove armband during England’s 6-2 win over Iran but has stated the decision was “out of his control”.
The captain insisted his squad’s record on moral issues stands for itself, as he pointed to how they again took the knee before kick-off, and said discussions will continue.
The Football Association moved to take all pressure off the players on the eve of the game, as it was made known to them that Fifa would issue “sporting sanctions” for wearing the armband. That was taken to mean bookings that would “affect performance”, so it was felt this was an unfair burden to put on the squad.
There had previously been a feeling it would only be a fine, rather than a yellow card. Given the furore, Fifa ended up bringing forward their “No Discrimination” campaign from the quarter-finals, even though that was only announced on Friday.
Kane wanted to defend the group in the face of criticism for the players.
“Yeah, I think we’re disappointed,” he said. “I think I said [on Sunday] we wanted to wear it. That decision was taken out of my hands today. I turned up to the stadium with the armband that I wore and I was told I had to wear that. Look, it’s out of our control as players. I’m sure the FA and Fifa will continue those discussions but most importantly today we focused on the game and got a great result.
“You’ve seen over the last five years we’ve made a stand as a squad and we’ll continue to do that as much as we can. We took the knee today as well but sometimes these decisions aren’t up to us and that’s the bottom line. As a squad, our focus was on the game today and I think we showed we’re a really good team and have full focus on what we need to do.”
When asked whether he was angry at Fifa, Kane said: “I’m not going to say words to get headlines – I said I was disappointed I wasn’t able to wear it but that’s it.”