It was such a short moment that thousands of fans inside the Khalifa International Stadium could easily miss it. But the moment it took for photographers to gather in front of Germany’s World Cup team to snap a picture was all the German national soccer team needed to stage a protest.
All 11 of the starters were posing with their right hands in front of their mouths, and within minutes the images went viral on social media. As Germany launched its World Cup campaign against Japan in Group E, the team’s social media feeds said FIFA would ban the “One Love” armband many European captains wanted to wear in Qatar. It was confirmed that the gesture was designed as a protest against the decision.
“With the captain’s armband, we wanted to express diversity and mutual respect, the values we hold in the German national team,” the statement said. We wanted our voices to be heard, it’s not about making a political statement, human rights are non-negotiable, denying armbands is the same as denying voices. We will defend our position.”
German fan Nick Becher told CNN that it was “sad” that FIFA refused to give players the chance to wear armbands. I am very proud that they have done so.People will certainly talk about this and the attention will increase.The pressure on FIFA and Qatar is definitely increasing.”
England fan Samir Cordell told CNN inside the stadium that he was “overjoyed” by the protests. “Germany and German fans should be proud. I would love to see them get booked. I think it’s great, I think it’s great. Hats off to them.”