Prior to their first World Cup group stage match against Japan, Germany’s players protested FIFA’s ban on the OneLove armband by covering their mouths in the team photo.
Captain Manuel Neuer and the captains of nine other UEFA nations were advised one day into the tournament that if they chose to wear the armband instead of FIFA’s regulated one, they would be booked.
Both players and coaches, as well as fans, have harshly criticized Fifa’s choice.
What Germany’s manager said about players covering their mouths
Hansi Flick, the manager of Germany, announced that his starting lineup would be taking a team photo while covering their mouths as an alternative form of protest before their match against Japan.
“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,” the German national team said on Twitter.
“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.”
The German FA was reportedly considering suing FIFA for pulling the rug out from under them in the armband controversy earlier this week.
Since then, the Danish FA has announced that, along with other UEFA countries, they may quit FIFA in protest of this week’s events.