World Cup 2022: Germany responds to threat of FIFA sanctions with unique team photo

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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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Joshua Kimmich of Germany reacts after Japan scored during a World Cup Group E soccer match between Germany and Japan at the Khalifa International Stadium in Doha, Qatar, Wednesday, November 23, 2022.

Joshua Kimmich of Germany reacts after Japan scored during a World Cup Group E soccer match between Germany and Japan at the Khalifa International Stadium in Doha, Qatar, Wednesday, November 23, 2022.
(AP Photo/Matthias Schrader)

“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.

David Raum of Germany in action during a FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 Group E match between Germany and Japan at Khalifa International Stadium on November 23, 2022 in Doha, Qatar.

David Raum of Germany in action during a FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 Group E match between Germany and Japan at Khalifa International Stadium on November 23, 2022 in Doha, Qatar.
(Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

“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.

German players cover their mouths in protest as they pose for a team photo.  Back row (LR): David Raum, Manuel Neuer, Antonio Ruediger, Niklas Sule, Nico Schlotterbeck.  Front row (LR): Joshua Kimmich, Serge Gnabry, Jamal Musiala, Thomas Mueller, Ilkay Guendogan.  Players pose before a Qatar 2022 FIFA World Cup Group E match between Germany and Japan at Khalifa International Stadium on November 23, 2022 in Doha, Qatar.

German players cover their mouths in protest as they pose for a team photo. Back row (LR): David Raum, Manuel Neuer, Antonio Ruediger, Niklas Sule, Nico Schlotterbeck. Front row (LR): Joshua Kimmich, Serge Gnabry, Jamal Musiala, Thomas Mueller, Ilkay Guendogan. Players pose before a Qatar 2022 FIFA World Cup Group E match between Germany and Japan at Khalifa International Stadium on November 23, 2022 in Doha, Qatar.
(Markus Gilliar/GES Sportfoto/Getty Images)

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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.

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