Belgium, Vertonghen: “I can’t speak, I’m afraid! The first time in my life that’s happened to me”

1 year ago

“I’m afraid if I say something about whether or not I’ll be able to play on the field tomorrow, this is a situation I’ve never experienced in football. It’s not good like that. I don’t like to deal with politics, but I’m afraid to say anything. I honestly don’t know, Wednesday I have a match and I want to play it, it’s useless to say anything about what’s happening here. Meanwhile, we read slogans against racism and discrimination…”.

Jan Vertonghen says they are being “controlled” and he is afraid to talk about important issues at Qatar 2022… This came after FIFA said no. Belgium will not be able to use their second jersey.

The white jersey, which includes the colors of the rainbow, was developed in collaboration with Adidas, was inspired by the fireworks of the famous Tomorrowland electronic festival, held every summer near Antwerp, and represented “diversity, equality and inclusion”.

But, as if that wasn’t enough, inside the collar is the word Love. FIFA then asked the Brussels federation to cover the writing with adhesive tape. The International Federation would also have rejected the Red Devils’ colorful warm-up shirt, as well as the “OneLove” strip that captain Eden Hazard wanted to wear during this World Cup.

“We were willing to pay high fines and we indicated this in our discussions with FIFA, but there was no discussion. This makes it impossible to continue our action”, regrets the general director of the Belgian federation, Peter Bossaert.

“It was a call for greater inclusiveness and a signal for diversity. A few months ago we already tried to contact FIFA, but no concrete answer has come,” reports the Flemish Belgian newspaper Het Nieuwsblad, “in the days of in the end we pushed even more because time was running out. We did everything to reach an agreement, until FIFA started talking about yellow cards. We wanted to calm the situation, it didn’t work.”