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FIFA has come under pressure from several European soccer federations who want to support a human rights campaign against discrimination at the World Cup. They want their captains to wear an armband with a rainbow heart design during games in Qatar. Homosexual acts are illegal in Qatar and the country's treatment of migrant workers building projects for the tournament has been a decade-long controversy. FIFA rules prohibit teams bringing from their own armband designs to the World Cup. The eight European teams asking FIFA to relax its rules include France, Germany, England and the Netherlands.

AP
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Qatar’s ambassador to Germany has been urged to abolish his country’s penalties for homosexuality at a human rights congress hosted by the German soccer federation two months before the Middle East country hosts the World Cup. Fan representative Dario Minden switched to English to directly address ambassador Abdulla bin Mohammed bin Saud Al Thani at the congress in Frankfurt. Minden says “football is for everyone. It doesn’t matter if you’re lesbian, if you’re gay. It’s for everyone. For the boys. For the girls. And for everyone in between. ... Abolish all of the penalties regarding sexual and gender identity."

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Queen Elizabeth II has been remembered and honored with touching tributes as the English Premier League resumed after a two-week break prompted by the death of the long-serving monarch with wins for Fulham and Aston Villa. Fulham scored three goals in six minutes in the second half in a 3-2 win at Nottingham Forest. Villa beat Southampton 1-0. They were the first two of seven matches taking place in this round of the top-flight from Friday-Sunday. Three games have been called off because of logistical issues and on safety grounds while authorities make preparations for the queen’s funeral on Monday. The entire round of fixtures was postponed last weekend as a mark of respect.

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Fulham's Harrison Reed celebrates scoring their side's third goal of the game during the English Premier League soccer match between Nottingham Forest and Fulham, at The City Ground, Nottingham, England, Friday Sept. 16, 2022. (Tim Good/PA via AP)

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Fulham's Joao Palhinha, left, celebrates scoring their side's second goal of the game with team-mates during the English Premier League soccer match between Nottingham Forest and Fulham, at The City Ground, Nottingham, England, Friday Sept. 16, 2022. (Tim Good/PA via AP)

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Aston Villa's Jacob Ramsey, left, celebrates after scoring the opening goal during the English Premier League soccer match between Aston Villa and Southampton at Villa Park in Birmingham, England, Friday, Sept. 16, 2022. (AP Photo/Rui Vieira)

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Aston Villa's Jacob Ramsey, 3rd right, scores the opening goal during the English Premier League soccer match between Aston Villa and Southampton at Villa Park in Birmingham, England, Friday, Sept. 16, 2022. (AP Photo/Rui Vieira)

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Players stand on the center of the pitch during a moment of silence tribute to Queen Elizabeth II before the English Premier League soccer match between Aston Villa and Southampton at Villa Park in Birmingham, England, Friday, Sept. 16, 2022. (AP Photo/Rui Vieira)

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Players stand on the center of the pitch during a moment of silence tribute to Queen Elizabeth II before the English Premier League soccer match between Aston Villa and Southampton at Villa Park in Birmingham, England, Friday, Sept. 16, 2022. (AP Photo/Rui Vieira)

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Three English Premier League games scheduled for this weekend have been called off on safety grounds while authorities make preparations for the funeral of Queen Elizabeth II. Manchester United’s home game against Leeds and Liverpool’s match at Chelsea were both set to take place on Sunday but have been postponed. Brighton’s home game against Crystal Palace will remain postponed. It had initially been called off because of a rail strike that will now not happen. It reduces the next round of the league to a seven-game schedule. All 10 games were postponed last weekend as a mark of respect following the death of the queen on Thursday.