Ahead of their World Cup match against Japan on Wednesday, German players clapped their hands over their mouths during a team photo in response to FIFA’s call for sanctions if players wore rainbow-colored armbands.» OneLove».
«It was a signal from the team, from us, that FIFA is silencing us,» German coach Hansi Flick told ESPN.
Seven European teams came together to wear the armband, which symbolizes «diversity and tolerance», as a statement of the harsh laws that restrict human rights in Qatar, such as same-sex unions and women’s rights, as well as such as the treatment of migrant workers. who built the stadiums for the tournament.
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«Of course, it’s important for us to make a statement like this,» German striker Kai Havertz said. «We talked about the game, what we can do, and I think it was the right thing to do first to show people that yes, we try to help as much as we can. Of course, FIFA doesn’t make it easy for us, but we try to show with that thing.»
«They may take our bands away, but we will never let them take our voice,» said German captain Manuel Neuer. «We stand up for human rights. That’s what we wanted to show. FIFA may have silenced us on the captain’s armbands, but we always stand up for our values.»
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Nancy Faeser, Germany’s interior minister, sat next to FIFA president Gianni Infantino during the match and was seen wearing an armband as she spoke to him.
«This is not right, how you put pressure on the federations,» he told ESPN before the game.
«In today’s times, it is incomprehensible that FIFA does not want people to openly defend tolerance and against discrimination.»
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In a statement, the German Football Association said: «This was not about making a political statement. Human rights are not negotiable. That should be taken for granted, but it is not yet the case. That is why this message is so important to us. Denying us the bracelet is the same as denying us a voice. We stand by our position.»
Other countries, including the Netherlands, who play on Friday, are thinking of ways to make their own statements.
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Germany lost their match to Japan in shocking fashion, losing their first World Cup match, 2-1. Germany will return to action on Sunday against World Cup favorite Spain, which beat Costa Rica 7-0 on Wednesday.