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Why German players covered their mouths in protest at World Cup 2022

World Cup 2022: Germany players covered their mouths during the team photo before their World Cup opener against japan on Wednesday.

This was an apparent protest over FIFA’s refusal to allow rainbow-themed armbands.

Just before the start of the match at Ar-Rayyan’s Khalifa stadium, the players lined up for a group photo – gagging. The gesture was preceded by a heated discussion about the “One Love” wristband.

What was the statement that made the German players cover their mouth at the World Cup 2022?

A joint statement by the FA’s of England, Wales, Belgium, Denmark, Netherlands and Switzerland expressed frustration with FIFA’s decision which they believe is unprecedented.

The statement read: “FIFA has been very clear that it will impose sporting sanctions if our captains wear the armbands on the field of play. As national federations, we can put our players in a position where they could face sporting sanctions including bookings, so we have asked the captains not to attempt to wear the armbands in FIFA World Cup games.
We were prepared to pay fines that would normally apply to breaches of kit regulations and had a strong commitment to wearing the armband. However, we cannot put our players in the situation where they might be booked or even forced to leave the field of play. “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 the One Love armband to actively support inclusion in football, and had no response. Our players and coaches are disappointed – they are strong supporters of inclusion and will show support in other ways.”

The armband portrayed a heart containing colours representative of all backgrounds was proposed by the UEFA working groups in support of inclusion and diversity.


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