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World Cup 2022: German players ‘cover their mouths’ before facing Japan; Here’s why!

Germany’s squad covered their lips in their team photo in protest of FIFA’s ban on the ‘OneLove’ armband before their World Cup opener against Japan amid the controversy over FIFA’s threat of punishment over the accessory, according to news agency AFP. In front of scores of cameras on the pitch, all of the Germany players made the sign prior to the game’s start.

Earlier, seven European captains decided not to wear the ‘One Love’ armband at the Qatar 2022 World Cup after FIFA threatened to impose sporting fines. The wearing of the ‘One Love’ armband, which was initially started by the Dutch FA in 2020 as a campaign in favour of LGBTQ+ individuals, has been formally rejected by FIFA. However, the armband stands for support for equality and is crucial in Qatar because homosexuality is against the law. It also supports the rights of the LGBTQ+ population.

In their opening encounter against Iran on Monday, England’s Harry Kane was scheduled to become the tournament’s first captain. The football associations of England, Wales, Denmark, Germany, The Netherlands, Belgium, and Switzerland, however, stated in a joint statement that ‘we cannot put our players in a situation where they could face sporting sanctions including bookings, so we have asked the captains to not wear the armbands in FIFA World Cup games’.

‘We were even prepared pay the fines that would normally apply to breaches of kit regulations and had a commitment to wearing the armbands. However, we cannot put our players in a situation where they might be booked or even forced to leave the field of play’.

The European nations’ united statement said, ‘We are profoundly dissatisfied by the FIFA decision, which we feel is unprecedented’. The armband has a heart-shaped pattern with rainbow (VIBGYOR) colour accents, which the Dutch FA claimed is meant to signify ‘inclusivity’.  Additionally, a white ‘1’ that sits in the middle of the band’s heart-shaped design has the words ‘one’ and ‘love’ printed in black on each side of it.


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