- Nasima Akter
Germany Players Cover Their Mouths in Team Photo to Protest FIFA Armband Ban
Before the start of their World Cup match against Japan on Wednesday, the German team took a photo on the pitch. During the photo session, the players placed their hands over their mouths in response to FIFA’s continued threat of sanctions over the "OneLove" armband. The rainbow armbands are seen as a symbolic protest against laws in Qatar, where homosexuality is illegal.
Originally, captains of seven European teams had planned to wear the anti-discrimination armbands during the tournament in Qatar as part of a campaign for diversity. They ended up backing down when threatened with disciplinary action from football's governing body, including yellow cards.
Following the team’s photographed protest, Germany's football federation posted a tweet that stated "This is not a political position; human rights are not negotiable,” and "To ban the armband is like banning our right to speak."
The German Football Association (DFB) also released a statement that said, "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.”