The German Football Association is defending itself against a contribution by the right-wing populist AfD on the question of the national team's captain's armband. "In connection with the discussion about the captain's armband, the DFB and its representatives in no way allow themselves to be taken over by the AfD or moved close to them," said the association on Wednesday at the request of the German Press Agency. The AfD had previously expressly welcomed statements by DFB sports director Rudi Völler about a possible return to a captain's armband in the Germany colors.
"Regardless of the design of the captain's armband, black red gold stands for democratic values, for diversity, respect and community. And not for exclusion and intolerance," said the DFB.
In an interview with "Sport Bild", Völler (62), who is responsible for the national team and the U21 selection, took a position on the "One Love" bandage, which is said to stand for diversity and against discrimination. This captain's armband had been banned by FIFA at the World Cup in Qatar, and the discussion had triggered great unrest around the DFB.
"From the gut, I would say: We should wear a captain's armband in the Germany colors. That would calm things down a bit," Völler replied when asked about the upcoming international matches on March 25 in Mainz against Peru and three days later in Cologne against Belgium. He understands that "from time to time a sign" has to be set. "But now it's about football again," said Völler.
"Away with the "One Love" bandage, bring on the black, red and gold: Thank you, Rudi!" The AfD tweeted on Wednesday, describing the "One Love" bandage as "silly". Before the World Cup, the currently injured DFB captain Manuel Neuer also wore a rainbow captain's armband. In this context, the rainbow is also a symbol for diversity and against discrimination.