Before the Group E game between Germany & Japan, German players covered their mouths to mark their protest on their captain, Manuel Neuer as he was denied to wear the ‘OneLove’ armband for the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022.
Gianni Infantino, FIFA President was present for the game when this happened. DFB, the Germany football association, soon released a statement,
“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,”
Nancy Faeser, the German minister of the Interior and Community along with German FA President Bernd Neuendorf, wearing the ‘OneLove’ armband in the stands.
The armband depicts the support for equality and it is not solely aimed at the rights of the LGBTQ community. It is significant in Qatar where homosexuality is illegal and considers homosexual acts as immoral under Islamic Sharia law.
England, the Netherlands, Wales, Belgium, Denmark, Germany, and Switzerland in a joint statement said,
“We are very frustrated by the FIFA decision which we believe is unprecedented – we wrote to FIFA in September informing them of our wish to wear OneLove armband to actively support inclusion in football and had no response”