DOHA, Qatar (AP) — America’s prime diplomat on Tuesday criticized a call by FIFA to threaten gamers on the World Cup with yellow playing cards in the event that they put on armbands supporting inclusion and variety.Talking alongside his Qatari counterpart at a information convention, U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken stated it was “all the time regarding … once we see any restrictions on freedom of expression.”“It’s particularly so when the expression is for range and for inclusion,” Blinken stated at Doha’s Diplomatic Membership. “And in my judgment, at the very least nobody on a soccer pitch must be compelled to decide on between supporting these values and enjoying for his or her crew.” Simply hours earlier than the primary gamers with the armbands in help of the “One Love” marketing campaign had been to take the sphere on Monday, soccer’s governing physique warned they’d instantly be proven yellow playing cards — two of which result in a participant’s expulsion from that sport and in addition the subsequent.No participant wore the “One Love” armbands Monday although seven European groups had stated they deliberate to put on them forward of the event. England’s Harry Kane wore a FIFA-approved “No Discrimination” armband that was supplied as a compromise within the match with Iran. FIFA has tried to counter the Europeans’ marketing campaign with its personal armbands that includes extra generic slogans backed by some United Nations companies.Requested to answer Blinken’s feedback, FIFA referred to an earlier assertion about permitting the “No Discrimination” armbands on the event, as a part of a compromise it tried to strike with soccer federations. Blinken arrived in Qatar on Monday, the place he visited a youth soccer program tied to the World Cup. He later watched the U.S. tie with Wales on Monday night time. Whereas overtly important of FIFA, Blinken struck a extra measured tone with Qatar. This energy-rich Mideast nation has been criticized forward of the event over its remedy of migrant laborers and criminalizing homosexual and lesbian intercourse.“We all know that with out staff, together with many migrant staff, this World Cup merely wouldn’t have been attainable,” Blinken stated. “Qatar has made significant strides in recent times to its labor legal guidelines to increase employee rights.”Nevertheless, he made some extent so as to add: “Actual work stays on these points, and the USA will proceed to work with Qatar on strengthening labor rights and human rights extra broadly lengthy after the World Cup is over.”Blinken spoke alongside Qatar’s international minister, Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al Thani, on the information convention. Requested by a Qatar-based journalist concerning the “media assaults” on his nation, Sheikh Mohammed dismissed them.“As for the reforms the state of Qatar, I feel there have been some quarters who didn’t take this into consideration and relied on preconceived notions,” he stated. “After all we can not change the opinion of those that simply need to assault us or distort our picture.”Blinken’s go to comes as a part of a strategic dialogue with Qatar, which additionally hosts some 8,000 American troops at its large Al-Udeid Air Base that’s serves because the ahead headquarters of the U.S. navy’s Central Command. The bottom was a key node in America’s chaotic 2021 withdrawal from Afghanistan and evacuation of Afghan civilians.One main challenge to debate is Iran. Nonproliferation specialists say Iran now has sufficient uranium enriched as much as 60% — a brief step from weapons-grade ranges — to reprocess into gasoline for a nuclear weapon if it chooses to take action.Tehran insists its program is peaceable, although it has drastically expanded it for the reason that collapse of Iran’s 2015 nuclear cope with world powers.In the meantime, Iran is being shaken by monthslong protests following the Sept. 16 loss of life in custody of a 22-year-old lady arrested by the nation’s morality police. A crackdown by authorities and violence surrounding the demonstrations have killed at the very least 434 folks, in accordance with Human Rights Activists in Iran, a bunch that’s been monitoring the protests. Iran is enjoying on the World Cup as properly, and can face the U.S. on Nov. 29. “The world is rightly centered on what’s taking place inside Iran,” Blinken stated. “The protests which have arisen for the reason that killing of Mahsa Amini are one thing which have galvanized the world.”Questioned concerning the U.S. current choice to protect Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman over the lawsuit focusing on him for the killing of Washington Publish journalist Jamal Khashoggi, Blinken stated the Biden administration would “merely observe the regulation” when it comes to granting immunity to a head of state.Blinken added there have been no plans for the crown prince to go to the united states___Follow Jon Gambrell on Twitter at .