The German National Team has decided to protest against FIFA's decision to ban the 'OneLove' armband after world soccer's governing body instructed the referees to punish the captains of the teams with a yellow card if they didn't wear an officially approve captain's band.. The decision was arrived at after a long week full of discussions about the topic. England, Germany, Belgium, Netherlands, Denmark, Wales, and Switzerland issued a joint statement on Monday confirming that they will not wear the 'OneLove' armband at the FIFA World Cup in Qatar due to the potential "sporting sanctions."
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.— Germany (@DFB_Team_EN) November 23, 2022
FIFA has made it clear that any players wearing the proposed "OneLove" armband promoting diversity and inclusion will be issued a yellow card. At the same time, FIFA has brought forward their own "No Discrimination" campaign which was only due to come into effect from the quarterfinals and all captains will now be permitted to wear one of those armbands for the entirety of the tournament. Manuel Neuer, the German captain, wore the 'No Discrimination' armband against Japan for the opening game of the team coached by Hansi Flick. At the same time, the whole team placed their hands over their mouths during the traditional team photo before the match against Japan to send a message to the world.
The German FA issued a statement after the picture, explaining the gesture of protest at the ongoing World Cup in Qatar: "It wasn't about making a political statement – human rights are non-negotiable. That should be taken for granted, but it still isn't the case. That's why this message is so important to us. Denying us the armband is the same as denying us a voice. We stand by our position. 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."
While the German players were staging their protest on the field, Federal Minister of the Interior and Community Nancy Faesar joined FIFA head Gianni Infantino in the stands wearing the armband that he has banned the players from donning.