Wednesday, November 30, 2022

Why Germany football players covered their mouths before WC match vs Japan

Why Germany football players covered their mouths before WC match vs Japan

Germany’s FIFA World Cup 2022 opener against Japan at the Khalifa International Stadium on Wednesday ended in a stunning 2-1 loss. Even after early dominance, they were unable to overcome the brilliance of the Japanese soccer players. However, the German players’ vehement protest against FIFA captured global attention.

During the mandatory team photo before the game, they covered their mouths with their right hands to express their displeasure that their captain, Manuel Neuer, was not permitted to wear the “OneLove” armband at the ongoing Qatar World Cup.

Prior to the tournament, the captains of European nations such as England, Wales, Belgium, the Netherlands, Switzerland, Germany, and Denmark planned to wear an armband depicting a striped heart in different colors to represent diverse heritages, backgrounds, genders, and sexual identities.

As homosexuality is illegal in Qatar, the football governing body condemned the move on 21 November. FIFA warned the participating nations that any player found wearing the armband would be shown a yellow card immediately.

FIFA’s announcement was harshly criticized by Germany coach Hansi Flick and football federation president Bernd Neuendorf, and the protest continued on the field. The German Football Federation (DFB) tweeted shortly after the start of the match between Germany and Japan that FIFA had prohibited them from advocating for causes they were passionate about at the World Cup, hence their protest.

The DFB wrote, “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. Denying us the armband is the same as denying us a voice. We stand by our position.”

The protest took place in front of FIFA President Gianni Infantino, who was in attendance at the stadium. Both DFB President Neuendorf and Germany’s Minister of the Interior and Community Nancy Faeser wore “One Love” armbands to signal their presence in the stands.

Why Germany football players covered their mouths before WC match vs Japan