USA reveals LGBT-themed crest ahead of FIFA World Cup
The United States men’s national team crest has been temporarily redesigned from its prior red, white and blue colors to instead incorporate a rainbow design, in a move designed to show solidarity with LGBT issues ahead of the FIFA World Cup in Qatar.
However, the new crest won’t be displayed on the team’s jerseys but rather at its training facility at Al Gharrafa SC Stadium in Ar-Rayyan.
The tournament in the Gulf state, which is due to kick off on November 20, has been hit with a torrent of criticism from various human-rights campaigners, many of whom have stated their opposition to perceived discrimination against LGBT individuals in the host country, where homosexuality remains illegal.
The US makes a statement at the World Cup in Qatar by Redesigning its crest with rainbow colors to show solidarity with the LGBTQ+ communityRather than the usual red stripes, the new crest incorporates rainbow colors #WorldCup2022 ⚽️ #US#Qatar#MailOnlinepic.twitter.com/GGfzIZoQ6w— 🌎 Sarwar 🌐 (@ferozwala) November 14, 2022
In a bid to show its support, USA team chiefs opted to make the move – with images of the design filtering out of the team's base on Monday.
Speaking after the unveiling, Neil Buethe, chief communications officer for the team, told the Daily Mail that the rainbow crest plays an important role in the fabric of US football.
“Our rainbow badge has an important and consistent role in the identity of US Soccer,” he said.
“As part of our approach for any match or event, we include rainbow branding to support and embrace the LGBTQ community, as well as to promote a spirit of inclusiveness and welcoming to all fans across the globe.
“As a result, locations that we will manage and operate at the FIFA World Cup, such as the team hotel, media areas and parties, will feature both traditional and rainbow US Soccer branding.”
The move by the USA team is the latest act of defiance against perceived human-rights abuses in Qatar, and comes after FIFA sent a letter to each of the tournament's 32 teams in which it implored them to “concentrate on the football.”
However, the wide range of activism which has been apparent in advance of the tournament appears so far to have fallen on deaf ears and seems almost certain to be raised on numerous occasions throughout the event.
USA will play Wales in a Group B clash on November 21 ahead of further games with England and Iran.