England player banned from wearing "free Gaza" wristbands

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England player banned from wearing "free Gaza" wristbands

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English cricketer Moeen Ali has been told not to wear wristbands in support of Gaza and Palestine during the remainder of the third Test against India at Southampton.

The 27-year-old was seen sporting bands with the slogan “Free Gaza” and “Free Palestine” during the game but has been banned from wearing the items by David Boon, the International Cricket Council’s match referee.

The player risks disciplinary action under the ICC Code of Conduct, which forbids players wearing, displaying or conveying messages through arm bands or other items on clothing or equipment without prior approval.

Moeen, who is Muslim and of Pakistani descent, helped raise funds for charities working with those affected by the three-week conflict with Israel. England had allowed the bands, claiming the player was making a humanitarian statement but they have been overruled.

The team will argue a case of inconsistency as on Tuesday they will wear the logo of the Help for Heroes charity on their shirts to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the First World War.

“The ICC equipment and clothing regulations do not permit the display of messages that relate to political, religious or racial activities or causes during an international match,” Cricket’s ruling body said.

“Moeen Ali was told by the match referee that while he is free to express his views on such causes away from the cricket field, he is not permitted to wear the wristbands on the field of play and warned not to wear the bands again during an international match.”