Former footballer John Fashanu made an insufferable appearance on Good Morning Britain on Thursday when he denounced protests against the World Cup, claiming it was “culturally inappropriate” to wear a “OneLove” bracelet.
FIFA’s decision to host the tournament in Qatar – where homosexuality is banned and women’s rights are restricted – has been marred by controversy, especially after players were threatened with sanctions for wearing the rainbow bracelet during matches.
The ‘OneLove’ gesture was intended to show solidarity with the LGBTQ+ community, and German players responded to FIFA’s intervention by posing for a team photo with their hands over their mouths on Wednesday, saying their “no voice was denied”.
But former Wimbledon player Fashanu, whose brother Justin became the first professional footballer to come out as gay and later commit suicide, hit the protests by claiming World Cup players must respect Qatar’s archaic laws and politicization of the sport. should avoid.
Speaking to GMB on Thursday morning, he said: “The OneLove bracelet, what does that have to do with football? How has that affected the football world?
“Politics and football, we try to keep them separate because when politics comes into football – which happens – politics goes up and up and eventually they will win. So I’m just really disappointed.
‘I do not think so [the federations] even threatened [to wear the armbands] because I don’t think it has anything to do with football at all.
“We’ve said it time and time again, if they gave Qatar the chance to get this great opportunity in football, you’d think everyone would abide by the country’s rules and regulations. Simple.”
When asked if he thought it was “culturally inappropriate” to protest because of this, Fashanu continued: “Very inappropriate, yes. I think whatever the rules and regulations of this country are, you have to abide by them.
Some may be good, others may be bad. But respect the country and say, ‘Okay, that’s fine. I can’t do this, I can’t do that, that’s okay.
Fashanu’s performance on GMB was such a car wreck that he immediately started trending on Twitter with viewers not believing his comments.
“I can’t believe what I’m hearing,” one viewer wrote. ,Are you real? So you just turned a blind eye to your playing days when all the racial slurs were hurled at you, right? Your brother would turn in his grave.”
Stonewall ambassador and referee Ryan Atkin tweeted: “Just wow. Sorry but I seriously disagree with your opinion and can’t believe what I just heard from you.
“LGBT, women’s rights and any form of discrimination are not political, but moral! Football should be welcoming and inclusive for all.”