FIFA World Cup 2022: Germany players cover mouths in protest against FIFA's ban of the 'OneLove' armband
Germany's players covered their mouths for their team photo before their opening World Cup match in an apparent rebuke of FIFA's clampdown on plans to wear armbands to protest discrimination in host nation Qatar.
It seemed to be a response to FIFA's warning to the seven European federations, including Germany's, that players would be penalized if they wore colorful “One Love” armbands as a symbol for inclusion and diversity. The seven team captains had planned to wear the armbands.
Qatar has been under scrutiny for its human rights record and laws criminalizing homosexuality.
Soccer's governing body issued the warning Monday just hours before the first teams were set to play with their captain wearing the armband. FIFA said the players would immediately be shown a yellow card.
Germany coach Hansi Flick and soccer federation president Bernd Neuendorf were among those to criticize FIFA's decision.
Neuendorf said Tuesday it was “another low blow” from FIFA.