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Germany, Belgium stage WC armband protests

Players and politicians from Germany and Belgium have staged protests in Qatar over the banning by FIFA of the ‘One Love’ diversity armband.

November 24, 2022
24 November 2022

Germany’s players covered their mouths for their team photo before their opening World Cup match, a 2-1 loss to Japan, to protest against FIFA’s clampdown on the ‘One Love’ armband.

“It was a sign from the team, from us,” Germany coach Hansi Flick said after Wednesday’s (Thursday AEDT) shock defeat. 

“FIFA is muzzling us.”

German Interior Minister Nancy Faeser wore a One Love armband – regarded as a symbol for inclusion and diversity – in the stands for her country’s match, sitting beside FIFA’s president Gianni Infantino. 

Faeser posted a photo of herself at the game with the hashtag #OneLove.

FIFA has prevented captains of seven European teams – England, Wales, Belgium, the Netherlands, Switzerland, Germany and Denmark – from wearing the armband at the World Cup in Qatar.

They wanted to wear it as a rebuke to the host nation’s human rights record.

FIFA warned the seven federations their players would be penalised if they wore the armband, a decision described by the German FA as “extreme blackmail”.

Belgium’s foreign minister also sported the armband when she met with Infantino at her country’s match against Canada on Wednesday (Thursday AEDT).

Hadja Lahbib was pictured wearing the colourful item on her left arm as she spoke with Infantino, and posted a photo of herself on Twitter, writing: “My heart goes out to our Red Devils!”.

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