Far from the light currently concentrated on Qatar, where it has no right of citizenship, the famous armband "One Love" continues to live in France on the grounds where football has not stopped.
As Noël Le Graët announced in an interview with L'Équipe at the start of the competition, the small object of contention found its way into the amateur clubs, which received two copies at the end of last week.
The gesture like the timing, while the president of the 3F has always taken a stand against the fact that Hugo Lloris wears the armband in Qatar and that France has never publicly aligned with the other European selections in this fight, necessarily raises question.
But on the side of the Amateur Football League, it is ensured that the order and the sending of the 20,000 armbands, 2 per club for the 10,000 clubs concerned, were not done overnight to counteract the controversy.
An initiative that is not linked to the controversy
“The armband had not yet been put forward by the World Cup when we joined this initiative of the Dutch federation, specifies Pierre Guibert, the general secretary of the LFA.
And when Noel Le Graët and Hugo Lloris said we shouldn't wear it, we didn't stop our action either.
The sending of this armband is part of the FFF's "Marking tomorrow" program, a support program on corporate social responsibility which provides clubs with tools, in particular posters, armbands or other, through various anti-discrimination campaigns throughout the year.
The 'One Love' armband, which slipped into the child protection campaign, was not on the season schedule, released at the end of the summer.
"It's an operation that comes more in addition to certain key dates on the calendar," says Guibert.
Among these dates: pink October, the month without tobacco, the telethon, or the international days against racism and homophobia.
The FFF's #MarquerDemain program continues with sending posters and armbands to clubs, to help us communicate with licensees and more.🏳️🌈
Thank you @FFF 🙏 pic.twitter.com/xl8LKEX6NM
— SᴀʟᴏᴍS (@slmthx) November 23, 2022
In the smaller clubs, we prefer to focus on the positive.
"We didn't specifically think about the controversy, we just thought it was super cool that the FFF sent these armbands, an honorable action on a subject that can be sensitive or unknown for the youngest, assures Salomée Mathieux, secretary of OFC Ruelle, a club in the Ligue de Nouvelle-Aquitaine.
There are no special instructions, the FFF does not require anyone to wear it.
For our part, of course we are going to wear it, it is a cause that is close to our hearts.
The FFF "proposes" to wear it during a "maximum of meetings"
In the letter attached to the armbands and sent by the FFF, signed by Noël Le Graët and Vincent Nolorgues, president of the Amateur Football League, the federation "proposes" all the same to the clubs to wear the armband "on occasion a maximum of official amateur football matches until the end of the season".
A sheet distributed by the FFF to the clubs details the recommendations on this campaign for "Living together".
"It's true that if the FFF and the players of the France team had agreed to wear these armbands, our young licensees would probably have been very happy to do like their idols and wear them proudly as well, but that's not not the most important, continues Salomée Mathieux.
It is also up to us to educate them on this subject and explain to them how important and impactful wearing this armband can be.
This is an opportunity to empower them.
The small object will not only concern the amateur and youth sections of the smallest clubs, since it was also seen, last weekend, on at least two lawns of D1 Arkema, the women's championship, on the biceps of Gaëtane Thiney (Paris FC) and Léa Le Garrec (Fleury), who therefore immediately seized this opportunity.
“I would like few clubs not to wear it, punctuates Pierre Guibert.
Today, an armband is a team captain, someone who has responsibility.
By wearing the armband, which allows us to mark our fight, he sets an example.