The Germans cover their mouths, already the image of the competition

Germany’s players ostentatiously put their hands over their mouths in the team photo before facing Japan on Monday, in protest against threats of sporting sanctions from Fifa over the wearing of the ‘One Love’ armband in Qatar.

The gesture of a gag mimed by the German players in the official photo before the game against Japanthe assertion that human rights are notnot negotiable“: German football responded on Wednesday to threats of sanctions brandished by Fifa to preventwearing an inclusive armband during the 2022 World Cup.

Under the eyes of the President of Fifa, Gianni Infantino in the Khalifa stadium, the German players, including captain Manuel Neuer, ostensibly put their hands in front of their mouths in the traditional team photo which precedes the kick-off. The seven European federations, including Germany, which had planned to have their captains wear a colored armband “one Love“against discrimination, gave up on Monday in the face of the threat of “sports penaltiesby Fifa, which did not specify them. This threat has been widely criticized in Germany where many voices have been raised calling on Mannschaft players to defy it.

This is not a political message: human rights are non-negotiable.

German Football Federation

The Germans had prepared their case well. In the stands, the Minister of the Interior in charge of sports Nancy Faeser, donned the famous inclusive armband in the stands “one Lovewhich the organizers did not want, before tweeting the photo on social networks. She then put on a jacket. And almost at the same time, the federation sent a scathing press release on social networks: “With our captain’s armband, we wanted to show the values ​​that we live within the national team: Diversity and mutual respect. Make noise together with other nations. This is not a political message: human rights are non-negotiable. It should be obvious. Unfortunately, this is still not the case. This is why this message is so important to us. Forbidding us to wear the blindfold is forbidding us to speak. Our position is clear“.

Since obtaining the organization of the tournament in 2010, Qatar has been the target of numerous criticisms on human rights, in particular those of LGBT + people. In this small conservative Muslim country, sexual relations outside marriage and homosexuality are subject to criminal prosecution. The Qatari authorities claimed that “everyone was welcome“. Gianni Infantino tried to defend Qatar during a press conference on Saturday, the day before the start of the competition. “Today I feel gayhe had said.

But the body of world football had also rejected the wearing by the seven captains who wanted it of colored armbands bearing the words “one Loveto instead offer a series of much more consensual messages, like “save the planet», «Education for all” or “No to discrimination“. “FIFA is a universal organization. We need to find topics that everyone buys into“, Argued Gianni Infantino on Saturday, believing that”provocation is not the right path» and that the rights of homosexuals are «a processwhich each country follows at its own pace.

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