- European nations banned from wearing armband
- FIFA threatened sporting sanctions
- Germans responded with 'silenced' team photo
WHAT HAPPENED? On Monday, seven European nations were forced to U-turn on their decision for their captains to wear 'OneLove' armbands at the World Cup, including England and Germany. FIFA threatened teams with sporting sanctions, with the "minimum" punishment being a yellow card to those wearing the armband.
THE BIGGER PICTURE: The German national team took the strongest stance yet before their match against Japan, covering their mouths in their pre-team picture in protest of the decision. A referee could also be seen checking Manuel Neuer's armband to ensure he was wearing the one issued by FIFA. Nancy Faeser, Federal Minister of the Interior and Community of Germany, could be seen wearing the armband in the crowd.
WHAT THEY SAID: Germany released a Twitter thread explaining the gesture, which stated that they wanted to express values close to the German national team, and that FIFA not allowing them to do so was denying them a voice.
"It wasn’t about making a political statement – human rights are non-negotiable," they said regarding the armband. "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."
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WHAT NEXT FOR GERMANY? Germany are currently playing Japan in their World Cup opener, and next face Spain on November 27.