Germany engage in team photo protest as DFB look into legality of OneLove ban by FIFA

Will Ford
Germany World Cup

The Germany players engaged in a protest for their team photo ahead of their opening World Cup game against Japan in response to FIFA’s ban of the OneLove armband.

The German FA (DFB) confirmed that the players came up with the idea of covering their mouths for the team photo ahead of the clash in Qatar.

Germany were one of seven European nations that backed down from wearing the armband, intended to promote diversity and inclusion, after FIFA told them on the eve of the tournament that they would gace sanctions, including an automatic yellow card for the captains.

Before the game, when asked about alternative protests, said “we’ll see” with a smile.

A statement from the DFB said: “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.

“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.”

The Athletic reported on Tuesday that the DFB were looking into legal action against FIFA.

“Fifa has forbidden us from using a symbol of diversity and human rights,” said DFB media director Steffen Simon.

“They combined this with massive threats of sporting sanctions without specifying them.

“The DFB is checking whether this action by FIFA was legal.”

Meanwhile, Denmark are ready to discuss a blanket withdrawal from FIFA alongside other UEFA nations over the OneLove issue.

“It is not a decision that has been made now. We have been clear about this for a long time. We have been discussing it in the Nordic region since August,” Danish FA chairman Jesper Moller said.

“I’ve thought it again. I imagine that there may be challenges if Denmark leaves on its own. But let us see if we cannot have a dialogue on things.

“I have to think about the question of how to restore confidence in FIFA. We must evaluate what has happened, and then we must create a strategy – also with our Nordic colleagues.”

READ MORE: One Love? One kick in the teeth after another at this World Cup for queer football fans