The Belgian national team has been forced to change their World Cup kit just two days before their opening game after FIFA rejected the team’s away strip because of the word ‘Love’ in the collar.
The design of the shirt, which includes a rainbow-colored trim, was inspired by the fireworks of Belgian’s famous music festival Tomorrowland and stands for diversity, equality, and inclusivity.
However, Belgium spokesperson Stefan Van Loock said FIFA was rejecting the shirt not because of the colours, which are typically linked to LGBTQ+, but because of the commercial link to Tomorrowland.
The festival’s logo is incorporated in the ‘o’ of ‘Love’.
Belgium’s warm-up shirt was also rejected by FIFA because of its references to Tomorrowland, he said.
FIFA is allowing Belgium to play with the away shirts if the word ‘Love’ on the etiquette is taped over but Van Loock said the Red Devils will play the first three games in their main red shirt regardless.
The rejection comes after FIFA threatened to issue yellow cards to any player wearing the multi-coloured ‘OneLove’ armband which was introduced to support diversity and inclusion.
The Belgian Football Association said earlier on Monday that its captain Eden Hazard will not play wearing the armband.