Germany’s World Cup players covered their mouths for a pre-match team photo ahead of their opener against Japan to suggest that FIFA have tried to silence them.
Germany had been among the seven nations who were planning to wear the ‘OneLove’ rainbow armband to express solidarity with the LGBTIQ+ community.
The Hansi Flick side also warmed up in training shirts with rainbow coloured sleeves following FIFA threats of sanctions should they make any political statement during the Qatar tournament.
A report in German media outlet Bild made headlines on Tuesday, claiming that the German FA are deciding whether to take legal action against FIFA. It is outlined that such a decision could be taken to the International Court of Arbitration for Sport.
“FIFA has banned us from showing a symbol of diversity and human rights. They combined this ban with massive threats of sporting sanctions without specifying them. The DFB is checking whether this action by FIFA was legal” DFB spokesperson Steffen Simon said.
“We didn’t want this conflict being fought on the backs of the players and expose players to this risk. They can take our arm band but we will continue to express the values we stand for” said German FA president Bernd Neuendorf.