Fifa has partnered with the United Nations to create sanctioned armbands that can be swapped or worn throughout the month-long women’s tournament.
There are eight armbands to choose from, highlighting issues such as inclusion, gender equality, indigenous people and peace.
Here’s what you need to know.
What do the World Cup armbands mean?
The Guardian reported that the armband themes were decided on after consulting with the 32 participating teams, players and United Nations agencies.
The messages on the armbands are: Unite for Inclusion, Unite for Indigenous Peoples, Unite for Gender Equality, Unite for Peace, Unite for Education for All, Unite for Zero, Unite for Ending Violence Against Women and Football is Joy, Peace, Love, Hope and Passion.
The Unite for Inclusion armband features the same colours as those used in the OneLove armband, with red, black and green (the Pan-African flag) signalling race and heritage, whilst pink, yellow and blue (the pansexual flag) signifying all gender identities and sexual orientations.
In a statement, Fifa president Giani Infantino said: “Football unites the world and our global events, such as the Fifa Women’s World Cup, have a unique power to bring people together and provide joy, excitement and passion.
“But football does even more than that – it can shine the spotlight on very important causes in our society.
“After some very open talks with stakeholders, including member associations and players, we have decided to highlight a series of social causes – from inclusion to gender equality, from peace to ending hunger, from education to tackling domestic violence – during all 64 matches at the Fifa Women’s World Cup.”
Responding to FIFA’s announcement, the FA said in a statement: “We know FIFA engaged with federations and players from around the world on the armbands to be worn at the FIFA Women’s World Cup. The next step is for our players to decide which of the options they will choose to wear.”
When England boss Sarina Wiegman was asked about the Lionesses’ plans for a resolution, she said: “I think there’ll be a solution, I know there have been conversations. I think and hope we’ll hear very soon what it will be like but I’m very positive that there will come a solution that will fit us.”
Why did Fifa block the rainbow armband?
During the 2022 men’s World Cup in Qatar, the rainbow ‘OneLove’ armband prompted the threat of sanctions being issued to countries including England and Wales, The Independent has reported.
Same-sex relationships are illegal in Qatar, and in some instances punishable by death, so the use of the rainbow armband was deemed insensitive.
England alongside six other nations announced their plans to wear it, but were forced to then back down after being threatened by FIFA.
FIFA has now banned players at the Women’s World Cup from wearing the rainbow armband in support of LGBTQ+ rights or the OneLove armband.
There is now no specific armband that advocates for the LGBTQ+ community or that has the rainbow colours normally associated with the colours of pride.