World Cup 2022: Germany players cover mouths in protest of FIFA's 'OneLove' armband ban before Japan match

Nov 23, 2022

Germany players protested FIFA’s suppression of their anti-discrimination messaging with a non-verbal statement of defiance ahead of their 2022 World Cup opener Wednesday.

While posing for a standard pregame photo at the Khalifa International Stadium, all 11 starters cupped their right hands to their mouth, an implicit reference to their Monday statement that FIFA had threatened them with “sporting sanctions” if captain Manuel Neuer wore a “OneLove” armband with a multi-colored heart.

Germany and six other European teams had adopted the armbands in light of Qatari laws that restrict the rights of LGBTQ people, among others. The armbands were part of a broader Dutch-led campaign against discrimination. The colors in the armband’s heart — which are similar, but not identical, to the ones that represent LGBTQ pride — “represent everyone's pride in their own origin, color, gender identity and sexual orientation,” the KNBV said in September.

Source: Yahoo Sports