Germany players stage powerful 'OneLove' protest at World Cup

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By James Kay

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The German national team staged a powerful protest during their pre-match team photograph, as a response to being told they cannot wear One Love armbands.

Countries such as Germany, England, Denmark, Wales, Belgium, Netherlands, and Switzerland were due to wear the One Love armband which was established in September to: "Use the power of football to promote inclusion and send a message against discrimination of any kind as the eyes of the world fall on the global game," per ESPN.

However, in a move that caused controversy, FIFA issued a warning to the teams that wearing the armbands would result in a fine for their country's footballing body, and on-field punishments for players, such as yellow cards, as reported by Sky News.

The armband promotes tolerance, diversity, and LGBTQIA+ rights. Homosexuality is considered a crime in the tournament's host nation, Qatar, and is punishable by a prison sentence, per CNN.

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Germany captain Manuel Neuer wearing the One Love armband. Credit: dpa / Alamy

After the teams opted to no longer wear the armband, the German national team took to the field and let their feelings be known about being unable to express their views.

Before their opening game against Japan, the players from Germany huddled together for a photograph, where they each placed their hands over their mouths, as an indication that they are being silenced.

The team's official Twitter account offered context to the protest: "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."

They added: "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."

Six of Germany's starting eleven had rainbow-colored laces on their boots, a move which allowed them to show their support for the campaign despite the no armband policy, per the Guardian.

The German protest didn't end there, as the country's interior minister, Nancy Faeser, was seen wearing the banned One Love armband whilst sitting next to Gianni Infantino, FIFA's president.

As reported by the Guardian, Germany's footballing body DFB will be seeking legal action against FIFA for the banning of the armbands. This comes after supermarket chain REWE cut commercial ties with the team following the announcement that the armband would not be worn.

Stefan Simon, DFB's spokesperson, told BILD: "Fifa has forbidden us from using a symbol of diversity and human rights. It said the ban would be linked to massive penalties (in the nature of) sporting sanctions without concretizing exactly what it meant. The DFB is keen to clarify whether Fifa’s procedure is in fact legitimate."

There has been no comment from FIFA on the protest.

Featured image credit: dpa / Alamy

Germany players stage powerful 'OneLove' protest at World Cup

vt-author-image

By James Kay

Article saved!Article saved!

The German national team staged a powerful protest during their pre-match team photograph, as a response to being told they cannot wear One Love armbands.

Countries such as Germany, England, Denmark, Wales, Belgium, Netherlands, and Switzerland were due to wear the One Love armband which was established in September to: "Use the power of football to promote inclusion and send a message against discrimination of any kind as the eyes of the world fall on the global game," per ESPN.

However, in a move that caused controversy, FIFA issued a warning to the teams that wearing the armbands would result in a fine for their country's footballing body, and on-field punishments for players, such as yellow cards, as reported by Sky News.

The armband promotes tolerance, diversity, and LGBTQIA+ rights. Homosexuality is considered a crime in the tournament's host nation, Qatar, and is punishable by a prison sentence, per CNN.

size-full wp-image-1263179813
Germany captain Manuel Neuer wearing the One Love armband. Credit: dpa / Alamy

After the teams opted to no longer wear the armband, the German national team took to the field and let their feelings be known about being unable to express their views.

Before their opening game against Japan, the players from Germany huddled together for a photograph, where they each placed their hands over their mouths, as an indication that they are being silenced.

The team's official Twitter account offered context to the protest: "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."

They added: "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."

Six of Germany's starting eleven had rainbow-colored laces on their boots, a move which allowed them to show their support for the campaign despite the no armband policy, per the Guardian.

The German protest didn't end there, as the country's interior minister, Nancy Faeser, was seen wearing the banned One Love armband whilst sitting next to Gianni Infantino, FIFA's president.

As reported by the Guardian, Germany's footballing body DFB will be seeking legal action against FIFA for the banning of the armbands. This comes after supermarket chain REWE cut commercial ties with the team following the announcement that the armband would not be worn.

Stefan Simon, DFB's spokesperson, told BILD: "Fifa has forbidden us from using a symbol of diversity and human rights. It said the ban would be linked to massive penalties (in the nature of) sporting sanctions without concretizing exactly what it meant. The DFB is keen to clarify whether Fifa’s procedure is in fact legitimate."

There has been no comment from FIFA on the protest.

Featured image credit: dpa / Alamy