One of Australia's greatest sporting exports Sam Kerr was caught between a rock and a hard place when asked if she would defy FIFA's rules to wear the OneLove rainbow captain's armband.
Soccer's governing body has replicated the ban from the men's Qatar World Cup onto the women's edition to be held here in Australia and New Zealand. If caught wearing the armband symbolising support for the LGBTQIA+ community, a player will be issued a yellow card.
Rightly, Kerr, an out queer woman, responded she wouldn't risk the sanction, after all the threat of the Matildas' greatest attacking weapon being sent off in a key decider could derail any trophy hopes.
Instead national team captains are being encouraged by the sport's world governing body to wear alternative FIFA approved messages: 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.
It would be foolish to think any fight for equality, including gender, sexuality or race, will be limited to pre-sanctioned armbands.
Expect images of players kissing their same-sex partners as the tournament had in 2019.
The same year, the USA went on to be world champions while in the midst of a pay dispute. Those efforts were spurred on by their most outspoken players, Megan Rapinoe and Alex Morgan, and eventually did lead to a groundbreaking pay agreement in 2022.
Now with the clock counting down to this year's tournament, players from several countries, including Matildas' opponents Canada to Nigeria, have been in a feud over pay.
For instance, Canada wants to earn the same as the men, while Nigeria is threatening to go on strike for their first game having allegedly not been paid.
It's difficult to see how the bubbling unrest across many teams, which flows through to fans, won't translate into something boiling over during the tournament.
Meanwhile - in one win for what is right - FIFA has allowed the Australian Aboriginal flag and Torres Strait Islander flag to be flown alongside the Australian flag at every match on home soil. The same goes for New Zealand and the national Maori, Tino Rangatiratanga, flag.
Even if it took a joint request from the co-hosts, at least there is one small win before the Women's World Cup kicks off.
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