Mooney described the decision behind Bale not wearing the armband, and instead donning the FIFA-approved ‘No Discrimination’ armband in response to Keane. “Absolutely, I understand why everybody would be upset about the OneLove armband not being there,” Mooney added. “But there was no way we could ask Gareth Bale to take a yellow or red card at his first World Cup. How could you do that?
“Anyone who thinks the players just take a card like that, they don’t understand the psyche of a professional athlete who is going out to play the biggest moment of their lives. We didn’t back down at all.
“We looked at the sporting sanctions. We said we would accept fines, we would accept whatever, but when it turned at the very last moment to specific sporting sanctions, that would have stopped our players taking the field of play, potentially, and it was done so late.”