Germany’s players all took part in a gesture in front of dozens of photographers on the pitch before kickoff after world football body FIFA threatened seven European teams with sanctions for wearing armbands symbolizing diversity and tolerance.
Germany’s Interior Minister Nancy Feiser, seated next to FIFA President Gianni Infantino in the stands, sported the armband as she chatted with the soccer administrator.
Earlier, he criticized FIFA, saying that the threat of sanctions was a mistake and is not acceptable behaviour.
“It’s not all right how the federations are being put under pressure,” said Fesser during a visit to a German FA event in Doha, Qatar, before the game.
“It is inconceivable in today’s times that FIFA does not want people to openly stand up against tolerance and discrimination. It does not fit our times, and it is not fair to the people.”
It wasn’t about making a political statement – human rights are non-negotiable. It should be considered, but still it is not. That’s why this message is so important to us.
Denying us the armband is tantamount to denying us a voice. We stand by our position. pic.twitter.com/tiQKuE4XV7
— Germany (@DFB_Team_EN) November 23, 2022
A statement from the German Football Association (DFB) said: “We wanted to use our captain’s armband to stand for the values we hold in the Germany national team: diversity and Mutual respect. Together with other countries, we wanted our voices to be heard.
“This was not about making a political statement – human rights are non-negotiable. It should be recognized, but it is still not the case. That is why this message is so important to us. It’s like refusing to give in. We stand by our stand.”
Same-sex relationships are illegal in Qatar.