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German players gag just before the game against Japan

Romain Rouillard
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7:41 p.m., November 23, 2022

In the official pre-match photo against Japan this Wednesday at the 2022 World Cup, the players of the German team put their hands in front of their mouths to protest against a recent decision by Fifa, banning the wearing of the armband ” One Love” against discrimination.

A very political start for Germany in this 2022 World Cup. A few moments before the kick-off of their first group match against Japan – which also ended in a surprise defeat (1-2 ) – the players of the Nationalmannschaft symbolically put their hands in front of their mouths during the traditional official photo. A gesture aimed at denouncing Fifa’s decision to ban the wearing of the “One Love” armband on which the LGBTQ + colors appear. Seven European selections, including France, have also given up wearing this armband.

On the side of the German federation, this position taken by Fifa has obviously gone badly. And the players have shown their disagreement through this gesture made in an ostensible way and which intends to point the finger at what they consider to be censorship.

“We wanted to set an example of the values ​​that we live in the national team: diversity and mutual respect (…). This is not a political message: human rights are not negotiable. It should be obvious but unfortunately it still isn’t. That’s why this message is so important to us.”, justified the German federation on Twitter.

“We are asked to play football”

Issues relating to sexual minorities are very taboo in Qatar, a country with very conservative customs. A state of affairs which prompted the international federation to threaten with a yellow card each captain of the European selections who would venture to wear this “One Love” armband. “Fifa forced us not to wear it. We had to because you don’t want to start such a big game with a yellow card. But that doesn’t change anything, we continue to take our initiative”, Dutch player Davy Klaassen said on Monday after Oranje’s victory against Senegal (0-2).

On the tricolor side, captain Hugo Lloris had preferred to “stay in (his) player setting”. “What we are asked to do is play football, to represent our countries as well as possible in sport,” he said before the competition. also calling for “respecting” Qatari culture. A complex subject in front of which all the actors are struggling to tune their violins.

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