Update: FIFA Ban Love Writing & Belgium Pre-Match Shirt Because of Commerical Reasons - UEFA Did Allow Both
Update: As predicted by us, FIFA did not reject the lettering love because of a political statement but because of commercial reasons. Meanwhile, images reveal that UEFA did allow Belgium to play with the Love writing inside the collar.
The lettering Love is deeply connected to the "Tomorrowland" festival.
Commercial Reasons: Belgium Allowed to Play With 2022 World Cup Away Kit If "Love" Is Tapped Over
Belgian spokesperson Stefan Van Loock said FIFA was rejecting the shirt not because of the colors, which are typically linked to LGBTQ+, but because of the commercial link to Tomorrowland. FIFA is allowing Belgium to play with the away shirts if the word "Love" on the etiquette is taped over.
Belgium 2022 World Cup Pre-Match Shirt Banned Because of Commercial Reasons (Tomorrowland Partnership)
UEFA did allow Belgium to wear the Adidas x Tomorrowland 2022 pre-match jersey.
Belgium's warm-up shirt was also rejected by FIFA because of its references to Tomorrowland, according to the Belgian spokesperson Stefan Van Loock.
UEFA Did Not Require Belgium to Remove Love Writing
Meanwhile, UEFA did NOT require Belgium to change their away kit. As visible in pictures of the shirts worn in the UEFA Nations League against Netherlands, the kits did feature the Love logo inside the collar. It is hypothetical if UEFA would have also allowed it in a more important competition like the UEFA Euro.
Update: FIFA Forces Belgium to Remove 'Love' Writing on Belgium 2022 World Cup Away Shirt - Here Is Why
Update: We have updated the story with several possible explanations for why the word Love was banned. Indeed, there are at least two paragraphs in the FIFA Equipment Rules that explain why the LOVE logo is forbidden. Both are not directly related to political messages and are not new - they have been there for many, many years. The story is being put in relation to the practical ban of the One Love captain armband but it is apparently not related.
Indeed, Belgium did wear the away kit in the friendly against Egypt last Friday. It can be not said if it featured the One Love text - the One Love logo is only on the inner collar of the authentic kit.
According to a report by ESPN, FIFA is pulling out the ban hammer again. This time, FIFA has a problem with the Belgium 2022 World Cup away shirt, which features an unprecedented look for a football shirt.
The word Love is inside the collar of the authentic and outside below the collar of the replica
The Belgium 2022 World Cup away shirt was created in collaboration with Tomorrowland, a famous electronic dance music festival held in Boom, Flanders, since 2005 and considered the biggest festival in the world.
The authentic version only features 'Love' inside the collar
Therefore, the Adidas Belgium 2022 away football shirt is predominantly white with vibrant multicolored trim on the collar, sleeves, hem, and underarms. The shirt is inspired by the Adidas x Belgian FA x Tomorrowland "LOVE" capsule collection and has the same aesthetic.
Allegedly, FIFA wants to ban the word 'Love' of the kit. The word "Love" features on the back of the replica jersey, while Adidas has placed it on the inside of the authentic version.
It is not known why FIFA forbids the use of the word Love. However, there are two paragraphs in the official FIFA Equipment Regulations that explain why it is banned.
1. (Possible) Reason: "Love" is No "Team Identifier"
First and foremost, teams are only allowed to have a "Team Identifier" on their playing attire, including kits (FIFA Equipment Regulations Paragraph 8.1). This includes a team slogan, crest, or team nickname but no "random" word live Love.
2. (Possible) Reason: Letter O is Made Of the Tomorrowland logo
The letter O is not a standard O but is taken from the official Tomorrowland logo. It is forbidden to include a logo (apart from the manufacturer logo) by UEFA Equipment Regulations.
Earlier today, FIFA threatened to take action if several captains decided to wear special 'One Love' armbands by giving them yellow cards on top of fines for the respective football associations. The captain's armband is prohibited because it is a "political message". This is not the case for the Love word, at least in our research.
In Belgium's case, it remains to be seen whether we will even see the away kit on the pitch during the World Cup - according to the official documents and Belgium spokesperson Stefan Van Loock, Belgium will wear their home kit in all three group games.
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