Former England striker John Fashanu said footballers shouldn’t have even threatened to wear a OneLove armband because protesting at the World Cup was “culturally inappropriate”.
The former footballer said that people should abide by the rules of the host country Qatar even if they are “bad” and said that football and politics should be separated.
Fashanu joined Susanna Reid and Ben Sheppard on Good Morning Britain, saying: “The OneLove badge – what does that have to do with football? How has that integrated into the world of football?”Read:Alonso and Hamilton praise newcomer De Vries after debut · RaceFans
Politics and football, we try to keep them apart because if politics gets into football – which it does – politics goes up and up and in the end they win. So I am very disappointed.
The OneLove band has the colors of the rainbow associated with the pride flag and was set to be a strong statement in Qatar where homosexuality is illegal, before the symbol was banned.
In response to a question from presenter Susannah Reid “So you don’t think the Football Association should have threatened to wear these armours in the first place?” “I don’t think they should have even threatened – because I don’t think it had anything to do with football,” said Fashanu, whose brother Justin committed suicide himself just eight years after going public.Read:Lee Johnson accused of encouraging Hibs ‘cheating’ as former refs slam Ryan Porteous and back Jim Goodwin
He added, “We have said it over and over again, if they are going to give Qatar the opportunity to have this great football opportunity, you would like to think that everyone would abide by the rules and regulations of the country, simple.”
Former footballer John Fashanu appeared on Good Morning Britain to talk about the World Cup
Fashanu argued: “The OneLove badge – what does that have to do with football? How has that integrated into the world of football?
Susanna then began asking “You think it’s culturally inappropriate for you to do a demonstration-” before Fashanu interrupted with “Totally inappropriate”.
When Susana continued her rule and said “about homophobia,” Fashanu replied, “No. I think whatever the rules and regulations of that country, whatever they are, have to be adhered to.”
Some of it might be good, some of it might be bad. But respect the country and say ok it’s okay I can’t do that I can’t do that it’s okay.Read:FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022: Belgium to finally win a World Cup? to day
Many criticized the former England player for his comments, as actress Denise Welsh tweeted: “I am horrified by these statements made by John Facchino!!! His brother committed suicide due to problems about being gay and unacceptable!! ‘
One critic tweeted, “This is an extraordinary assertion. I don’t think anyone is suggesting that people should not respect cultural difference. But we cannot suggest that the threat of persecution or execution for basic human rights is something we should ignore. It’s almost comical at this point.
Another said, “It’s the idea that the oppression of minorities is a ‘cultural difference’ to me. It’s everywhere, and it implies that LGBTQ human rights are formations, kindly granted by cultures, rather than inherent basic human rights that are cruelly taken away.”
“John Fashanu standing up for the Qatari government after his brother committed suicide due to gay bullying may be the most disgusting thing you will see today,” wrote one outraged onlooker.
But some agreed with Fashanu, who said: ‘Politics in football is always a bad idea at this level, he is at least right once the decision to play in Qatar is made that people respect the laws and culture of that country. “They are in their own agendas rather than being forced upon them.”
The former footballer said that people should not confuse football with politics
Fashanu’s comments were criticized by many, with Denise Welch saying she was ‘terrified’
Fashanu’s comments this morning come after last month he called on the England World Cup team and fans to take a knee in Qatar in a stand against homophobia and racism.
Fashanu said international twice in England Sunday Mirror that he was ‘ostracized’ by his late brother Justin – who was the first professional footballer to come out as gay.
Same-sex acts are punishable by up to seven years in prison in Qatar, but Fashanu said gay fans should be allowed to be themselves at the tournament.
The 60-year-old has suffered from rampant racism during his career and said if he was attending the tournament he would take a knee to show he was against “all forms of discrimination”.
Fashanu’s brother, Justin, was the first black player to sell for £1m, but his career was marred by homophobia – he was berated by legendary manager Brian Clough.
In 1998, Justin committed suicide in a locked garage in Shoreditch, London, when he was just 37 years old – just eight years after he came out in public.
John Fashanu had earlier called on the England World Cup squad to take a knee in Qatar in a stand against homophobia and racism.
John (top) admitted that he shunned his brother Justin (bottom) because of his sexuality — he even paid him not to come out
John told The Mirror he once paid his brother £75,000 to keep quiet to save the family from embarrassment.
In 1985 the two brothers were on the Brighton beach, when they dug a hole on the beach, and Justin told his younger brother to lie in it while he piled sand on top of it.
Fashanu told The Mirror: ‘It started piling up on the sand until my head was just popping off. It hurts. I was struggling to breathe. Then he left me there. When he finally came back I was crying. He said, “Now you know how it feels to be me every single day.”
John said “for the first time” he was able to understand what his brother had to endure as a gay and black footballer.
He said this experience made him believe that Qataris could learn more about the LGBTQ community and that the World Cup should be an “educational opportunity”.
Although the former football player added: “LGBT people should be themselves, but they must also respect the laws of the country in which they are guests.”