Germany vs Japan: World Cup as a FIFA protest.
Before Wednesday’s game against Japan, the Germany team lined up in the usual way, and each of the 11 players covered their mouth with their right hand.
Germany’s players covered their mouths for their team photo before their first World Cup match as a message to FIFA for stopping seven teams from wearing armbands that were a criticism of the host country Qatar’s human rights record.
Before Wednesday’s game against Japan, the Germany team lined up in the usual way, and each of the 11 players covered their mouth with their right hand. “It was a sign from the team, from us, that FIFA is stifling us,” Germany coach Hansi Flick said after his team lost to Japan 2-1.
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This was a response to FIFA’s warning to the seven European federations, including Germany’s, that players would be fined if they wore colorful “One Love” armbands as a sign of acceptance and diversity.
Germany’s captain, Manuel Neuer, and the captains of the other six teams had planned to wear the armbands for their first games at the World Cup. Qatar has been under scrutiny for its treatment of human rights and laws that make being gay illegal.
The warning came from soccer’s governing body on Monday, just hours before England and the Netherlands were set to play with their captains wearing the heart-shaped, multicolored logo of the “One Love” campaign.
FIFA said that the players would immediately get a yellow card and that there could be more consequences. Hansi Flick, the coach of Germany, and Bernd Neuendorf, the president of Germany’s soccer federation, were among those who didn’t like FIFA’s decision.
Neuendorf said the warning was “another low blow” from FIFA. The governing body has said nothing about the Germans’ action on Wednesday. German Interior Minister Nancy Fraser, also in charge of sports, wore a “One Love” armband to the Germany-Japan game, where she sat next to FIFA president Gianni Infantino.
Faster tweeted a picture of herself wearing it along with the hashtag #OneLove. The news agency DPA said that Feser had the armband under a pink blazer, which she took off during the first half.
Earlier, Feser criticized Qatar for making a German fan take off a rainbow-colored armband and a headband at another game.
“This contradicts what I believed the (Qatari) interior minister said concerning my safety,” Faster remarked. “Everyone needs to be protected. The news has left me feeling very down.”
The rainbow flag symbolizes tolerance for those of different sexual orientations. “In her perspective, these symbols should be presented publicly,” Faster remarked.