German players protest against FIFA by covering mouths after ban on ‘One Love’ bracelet

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The controversies surrounding FIFA World Cup 2022 do not want to abate. Germany became the latest team to join the anti-FIFA protests as the German players covered their mouths, against freedom of speech, after being told not to wear ‘One Love’ armbands by the global governing body.

The German players covered their mouths in protest and also wore rainbow stripes on their warm-up kits as an expression of defiance ahead of their opening World Cup group match against Japan on Wednesday.

Germany was one of seven countries, including England and Wales, banned by FIFA from wearing the ‘One Love’ bracelet, which stands for tolerance, diversity and LGBTQ+ rights.

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Interestingly, German Interior Minister Nancy Faeser wore the One love bracelet as she watched the game alongside FIFA President Gianni Infantino. The German Football Association also tweeted a strong message after being warned by FIFA that they would impose sanctions on teams that defied the governing body.

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While other countries simply adhered to FIFA standards, the Germans came up with the strongest stance against it.

“It was not about making a political statement – human rights are non-negotiable. That should be taken for granted, but it still isn’t. That’s why this message is so important to us,” said a statement from the German FA on Twitter,

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“Denying us the bracelet is the same as denying us a vote. We stand by our position,” it further added.

Germany lost the game to Japan 2-1, which was their first defeat against the Asian giants. The four-time World Cup winners took the lead through a penalty from Ilkay Gundogan, but two second-half goals from Ritsu Doan and Takuma Asano secured a stunning comeback for the side from the land of the rising sun.

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