Two capital matches. This Wednesday, Germany begins its World Cup against Japan. Behind the scenes, the country, eleventh in the FIFA rankings, is waging another fight. Like other nations, the selection led by Hans Dieter Flick wanted to wear a “One Love” armband in the colors of the LGBTQ+ flag to promote diversity and inclusion while fighting all forms of discrimination. But FIFA has pulled the rug out from under Germany and other countries by banning the wearing of this armband under penalty of inflicting a yellow card on the team captain.
Germany does not digest the decision of FIFA
“FIFA has been very clear and said that they will impose sporting sanctions if our captains wear the armband on the pitch. We are very frustrated… However, we cannot put our players in a situation where they could be avoided or forced off the pitch.”, said the international federations, supported by UEFA in their initiative. A decision that struggled to pass in England and Belgium. This is also the case on the German side. Director of the national team, Oliver Bierhoff did not hide his disappointment.
“There is a lot of anger; It sounds a lot like censorship. The armband can be taken away from us, but we will continue to express our values.. The federation president (DFB), Bernd Neuendorf, was also upset. “FIFA prohibits communication around diversity and human rights. From our point of view, it is more than frustrating and an unprecedented event.. Very disappointed, captain Manuel Neuer admitted on Saturday not to fear possible sanctions. And if he does not wear the armband against Japan, he protested in the prize team photo before the meeting. All the German players had a hand over their mouth to show that they are not free of their opinion.
Wir wollten mit unserer Kapitänsbinde ein Zeichen setzen für Werte, die wir in der Nationalmannschaft leben: Vielfalt und gegenseitiger Respekt. Gemeinsam mit anderen Nationen laut sein. Es geht dabei nicht um eine politische Botschaft: Menschenrechte sind nicht verhandelbar. 1/2 pic.twitter.com/v9ngfv0ShW
— DFB Team (@DFB_Team) November 23, 2022
A strong gesture from the players
The DFB justified this strong gesture on Twitter. “With our captain’s armband, we wanted to set an example of the values we live by in the national team: diversity and mutual respect. Be strong with other nations. This is not a political message: human rights are non-negotiable. It should be obvious. But unfortunately this is still not the case. This is why this message is so important to us. Forbidding us the armband is like forbidding our mouths”. An initiative validated by Hans Dieter Flick, also ready to lead this fight.
At a press conference, the German coach did not hesitate to put aside the shock against Japan to discuss this cause which is close to his heart. “It’s a shame that human rights can no longer be defended”, he notably declared. Annoyed, the German federation and the national team felt that they should be able to choose freely. They do not understand at all the decision and the methods used by FIFA. They also believe that the governing body of world football is making “blackmail” accurate AS.
The German federation will attack the governing body of world football
The Spanish media asked the German federation which confirmed that it had no intention of abandoning this file. The DFB, which believes that this fight is fair and does not understand why its captain is threatened to defend an important cause, will file a complaint. She does not accept FIFA’s blackmail and has therefore asked the services that manage the legal part of the federation to study legal action against the federation led by Gianni Infantino. Behind the scenes, Germany has therefore declared war on FIFA.