Did Harry Kane just make a cheeky Swiss fake Rolex UK protest at the Doha World Cup?26th November 2022
As the World Cup gathers momentum in Qatar, FIFA has repeatedly displayed a breathtaking lack of tact and political awareness. Today’s model is a luxury fake Rolex Daytona UK. The decision by football’s governing body to award the World Cup to Qatar was already wildly contentious even before it was decided the country’s heat required the tournament to be moved to the winter month despite the endless disruption this would have on national leagues. Far more seriously, there were allegations of a global corruption scandal, grave human rights concerns about Qatar’s treatment of migrant workers (at least 6750 died while building the tournament facilities) and outrage over the nation’s attitudes towards women and LGBTQI+ people. FIFA boss Gianni Infantino proceeded to deliver an astonishing speech in which he insisted he knew what it felt like to be gay and a migrant worker. The reason? He was bullied as a child due to his red hair.
In response to this human rights furore, England, Wales, Belgium, the Netherlands, Switzerland, Germany and Denmark had planned for the captains of their teams to wear OneLove armbands. Featuring a rainbow flag in the shape of a heart, the armbands were designed as symbolic protest at Qatar’s laws against same-sex relationships. Admittedly, this would have been a fairly tokenistic gesture at best. Yet FIFA thwarted these plans, too, by threatening to issue yellow cards to any player wearing the OneLove armband. This proved an effective deterrent because if a player picks up two yellow cards, they’re banned from playing the next game.
England captain Harry Kane admitted he was disappointed at the decision. “We wanted to wear it,” he said. “That decision was taken out of my hands today. I turned up to the stadium with the armband that I wore and I was told I had to wear that [the official FIFA one]. It’s out of our control as players.”
But did Kane subsequently make a cheeky protest on the quiet? Ahead of England’s 6-2 win over Iran on Monday, he arrived at FIFA’s stadium in Doha wearing a perfect replica Rolex Rainbow Daytona in Everose. Suffice to say, this wildly extravagant timepiece with a price-tag of AU $96,900 isn’t your typical watch to pair with your training shorts and t-shirts.
In fact, the Swiss movement fake Rolex is such a glaring mismatch that speculation is now rife that Kane’s watch was a reference to the rainbow Pride flag and therefore a quiet form of symbolic protest. The veracity of this claim is unlikely to be revealed any time soon. But at a World Cup where the host nation has reportedly spent $229 billion on the infrastructure, an over-the-top AAA supe clone Rolex festooned with jewels feels like a strangely appropriate medium of protest.