Germany players cover mouths for team photo in protest over OneLove armband ban

Germany’s players cover their mouths in protest at being forced to drop plans to wear an anti-discrimination armband (Mike Egerton/PA) (PA Wire)
Germany’s players cover their mouths in protest at being forced to drop plans to wear an anti-discrimination armband (Mike Egerton/PA) (PA Wire)

Germany’s players covered their mouths for a World Cup team photograph on Wednesday in protest at being blocked from wearing an anti-discrimination armband.

The national team players made the gesture as they prepared for kick-off in their opening match against Japan at the Khalifa Stadium.

It followed a joint statement from seven European nations, including Germany plus England and Wales, to drop plans to wear the ‘OneLove’ armband after threats of sporting sanctions from FIFA.

The German football federation, the DFB, said in a tweet on its official account: “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.”