The Icelandic Players’ Union has sent a press release stating that the ban on rainbow armbands, during yesterday’s handball matches at the cup finals, is based on a technical mistake, or „misunderstading“.
According to the press release The Icelandic Players’ Union got an exemption from IHF‘s (The International Handball Federation) regulations on captains armbands in October 2016: regulations that state that team captains can only wear armbands without logos and of one color. At the time Guðjón L. Sigurðsson, head of the referee committee at Icelandic Handball Association, said that he would not ban the bands. However it was up to each referee to make the final judgement call.
„The Icelandic Players’ Union assumed that this exemption was still valid, which it still is, but we would’ve had to send a special exemption request to the Icelandic Handball Association in order for it to be valid in yesterday’s game,“ explains Kristinn Björgúlfsson, director of The Icelandic Player‘s Union. Something which the union failed to do.
„Because there was no official exemption request sent, the referees of the games didn‘t know that the exemption was still valid and banned the use of the rainbow … armbands.“
„Because there was no official exemption request sent,“ Kristinn goes on, „the referees of the games didn‘t know that the exemption was still valid and therefore followed regulations and banned the use of the rainbow-colored armbands.“
Later today when the error was discovered The Icelandic Players’ Union sent The Icelandic Handball Association a formal request to make it possible for captains of the four men‘s teams, competing in the cup finals today, to wear the armbands. To which the association has agreed to.
Both parties regret the misunderstanding.