Germany players cover mouths in team photo to protest FIFA OneLove armband decision
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The Germany football team has taken a stance against FIFA’s decision to ban players from wearing a ‘One Love’ armband by posing for a photo with their hands covering their mouths.
The controversy is just one of a litany that have beset the opening stages of the FIFA World Cup in Qatar.
The problems began when the world's largest football event was awarded years ago, but have continued since then because of the death of migrant workers building the stadiums and concerns over the country’s attitude to human rights.
Tweeting a picture showed the team performing the gesture that read ‘armband or no armband, we stand by our position’
the German football team wrote: “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 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 team’s protest comes after FIFA told teams planning to wear the captain’s armbands in support of LGBTQ+ people that they would be sanctioned if they did so.
That could have meant that their captains would have received a booking, potentially affecting their chances on the pitch.
England and Wales had also planned to wear the armbands, but the Football Association and the Football Association of Wales decided against proceeding after learning this.
However, the teams did not protest in the same way as the German team.
BBC TV presenter and former England international Alex Scott wore one of the armbands whilst broadcasting from the stadium during England’s first group game against Iran.
Before the game, Germany’s football federation (DFB) media director Steffen Simon criticised FIFA and said that the organisation is considering legal action.
He said: "FIFA has forbidden us from using a symbol of diversity and human rights,
"They combined this with massive threats of sporting sanctions without specifying them.
"The DFB is checking whether this action by FIFA was legal."
FIFA has also brought forward a ‘No Discrimination’ campaign that was scheduled to begin from the quarter finals, but will start now.
10 European nations had originally said that they were going to wear the armbands back in September, although Sweden and Norway did not qualify.
French captain Hugo Lloris said he wouldn’t wear the armband to ‘show respect’ to the host nation.
Same-sex relationships and the promotion of such relationships are currently criminalised in Qatar.
Featured Image Credit: PA Images/Alamy
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