Germany players made their feelings clear ahead of Wednesday's World Cup clash against Japan after FIFA blocked them and other nations from wearing the OneLove armband.
Moments before kick-off at the Khalifa International Stadium in Al Rayyan, every Germany player covered their mouth in a team photo in protest against FIFA’s ban of the armband.
The German FA confirmed that the team came up with the idea, according to The Athletic.
In a post on their official Twitter account, the German national team said: "It wasn’t about making a political statement – human rights are non-negotiable. That should be taken for granted, but it still isn’t the case. That’s why this message is so important to us."
Germany’s team photo in response to not being allowed to wear the OneLove armband. pic.twitter.com/JjoZpzaWIz— HLTCO (@HLTCO) November 23, 2022
They added: "Denying us the armband is the same as denying us a voice. We stand by our position.
"We wanted to use our captain’s armband to take a stand for values that we hold in the Germany national team: diversity and mutual respect. Together with other nations, we wanted our voice to be heard."
It emerged this week that the German football association is taking FIFA to the Court of Arbitration for Sport over their ban on players wearing OneLove armbands at the World Cup.
DFB media director Steffen Simon says they are explored their legal position on the matter.
“FIFA has forbidden us from using a symbol of diversity and human rights,” he said. “They combined this with massive threats of sporting sanctions without specifying them.
“The DFB is checking whether this action by FIFA was legal.”
REWE chief executive Lionel Souque added: "We stand for diversity and football is diversity. The scandalous behaviour of FIFA is for me as the CEO of a diverse company, as well as a football fan, absolutely unacceptable."
It wasn’t about making a political statement – human rights are non-negotiable. That should be taken for granted, but it still isn’t the case. That’s why this message is so important to us.— Germany (@DFB_Team_EN) November 23, 2022
Denying us the armband is the same as denying us a voice. We stand by our position. pic.twitter.com/tiQKuE4XV7
Coming into the tournament, England and Wales’ FA decided their captains would wear the OneLove armband in a bid to show solidarity with the LGBTQ+ community.
But they, along with Germany, the Netherlands and other European nations, have backed down following the threat of sporting sanctions.
A statement from the FA read: “FIFA has been very clear that it will impose sporting sanctions if our captains wear the armbands on the field of play.
“As national federations, we can’t put our players in a position where they could face sporting sanctions including bookings, so we have asked the captains not to attempt to wear the armbands in FIFA World Cup games.
“We were prepared to pay fines that would normally apply to breaches of kit regulations and had a strong commitment to wearing the armband. However we cannot put our players in the situation where they might be booked or even forced to leave the field of play.
“We are very frustrated by the FIFA decision which we believe is unprecedented — we wrote to FIFA in September informing them of our wish to wear the One Love armband to actively support inclusion in football, and had no response.
“Our players and coaches are disappointed — they are strong supporters of inclusion and will show support in other ways.”
Featured Image Credit: Germany/Twitter
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