German football team players’ silent protest – Cover mouths in team photo amid armband row | Football News

NEW DELHI: After Iranian players’ refusal to sing national anthem ahead of their World Cup match against England, the tournament hit with another controversy as Germany players have lodged their protest, over the “OneLove” armband, by placing their hands over their mouths during a team photo ahead of their game against Japan.
All Germany players took part in the gesture in front of dozens of photographers on the pitch ahead of kickoff in a World Cup Group E match at the Khalifa International Stadium in Qatar on Wednesday.
While, German Interior Minister Nancy Faeser wore ‘One Love’ armband sitting next to FIFA President Gianni Infantino at the stadium.

World Cup

German Football Association President Bernd Neuendorf (left) and German Interior Minister Nancy Faeser, wearing a OneLove armband, during the FIFA World Cup. (Photo by Alexander Hassenstein/Getty Images)
Germany’s football federation posted a tweet moments after the photo protest that “human rights are not negotiable”.
“This is not a political position; human rights are not negotiable,” the DFB tweeted.

“To ban the armband is like banning our right to speak,” the federation added.
World soccer body FIFA had threatened seven European teams with sanctions if they wore the armband symbolising diversity and tolerance.
Homosexuality is illegal in Qatar.
Earlier, Faeser had criticised FIFA, saying the threat of sanctions was a mistake and not acceptable behaviour.
“This is not alright, how federations are being put under pressure,” Faeser said during a visit to a German FA event in Doha before the game.
“In today’s times it is incomprehensible that FIFA does not want people to openly stand for tolerance and against discrimination. It does not fit in our times and it is not appropriate towards people.”
A statement from the German Football Association (DFB) said: “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.”
(With inputs from Agencies)

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