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23rd Nov 2022

Ian Wright, Karen Carney and Roy Keane tear strips off FIFA with powerful protest comments

Patrick McCarry

Well said, by all three

We are four days into the 2022 World Cup, and FIFA are doing their best (or worst) to keep themselves in the headlines, Over on ITV, Roy Keane, Ian Wright and Karen Carney all stuck the boot in.

Fifa have been accused of ‘blackmailing’ several of the teams that were planning on wearing OneLove armbands, and threatening to book the captains of any country that wore the symbol of equality and promotion of gay rights – although that hasn’t put the Germany side off making their own protest.

Along with a staggeringly off-mark speech delivered by Fifa president Gianni Infantino and the issues with holding the tournament in a country with a questionable human rights and migrant workers record, means the sporting money is already under the pump.

Ahead of their coverage of Germany vs. Japan, ITV spent some time discussing the latest FIFA diktats and controversies. Keane, Carney and Wright all had plenty to say on the matter.

Ian Wright

Roy Keane and Ian Wright strong on FIFA issues

On FIFA, Roy Keane said ‘part of their plan’ would have been that ‘people would get distracted and get on with the football’ but cautioned that the backlash against the sporting body was not going away.

“I go back to what I said the other day,” said Keane about his Monday night comments, “that the players should have worn the [OneLove] armband and taken their punishment.”

Karen Carney argued that the armbands stand-off all comes down to FIFA. “The players were put in a really tricky situation,” she said, “and they were damned if they did, damned if they didn’t.”

Ian Wright stepped in for his say on the matter, and he teed clean off:

“There’s no protest without risk. If you are going top protest, it’s got to mean something and there’s got to be some risk in it.

“I get the vibe now, from all of the players and teams, that they’re all talking about doing something and suing FIFA – it’s like wanting to fight when the fight is already over. It’s done! It’s ridiculous. What, you’re going to sue them? Wear the band and take the consequences.”

Keane then argued that the Fifa threat of booking captains wearing OneLove armbands should have ‘made you even more determined to do it’.

“I know they’re upset with it,” he added, “but, as you said, if you’re going to protest, you are obviously going to upset some people. Go and do it! Be strong!”

“It would have been such a powerful protest,” Wright argued. “The LGBTQ+ community would have all seen that they had actually put something on the line, like they do every day with their lives.”

Powerful stuff from the three pundits, and former internationals.

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