At the World Cup in Qatar, the issue of the "bandage" was discussed almost more than the sporting achievements of the German national soccer team. Originally, the captains of the DFB-Elf and other teams wanted to appear with a "One Love" armband, which should set an example for diversity and against discrimination against homosexuals and other minorities. However, they refrained from doing so after Fifa threatened sanctions.
Now it's the World Cup again - namely in hockey and handball. The hockey players are guests in India, the handball tournament takes place in Poland and Sweden. And at least since the debate surrounding the soccer World Cup, other sports have also been under scrutiny as to how they position themselves politically. The German national players in hockey and handball seem to deal with the topic more openly than the footballers.
Mats Grambusch, captain of the national hockey team, ran out in the first World Cup game against Japan (3-0) with a rainbow armband - which was never up for debate among footballers. It was a matter of course for him, the 30-year-old said before the tournament: "Every other player on our team would do the same. We stand for these values and want to embody them at the World Cup." The world hockey association FIH does not seem to have any consequences.
"I've been wearing this bandage at my club in Cologne for three years. We talked about it in the team, everyone thinks it's cool," explained the Rot-Weiss Köln player. However, the bandage does not explicitly refer to the human rights situation in the host country India: "We would have done the same if the World Cup were to take place in the Netherlands, Germany or Qatar."
The German handball team sees it differently. There is no sign of a captain's armband - captain Johannes Golla runs up with a bare arm. "I don't wear a pad. I tried it once, but unfortunately the pad was too small at the time. I also had the feeling that it interfered with physical contact because you had to constantly adjust it afterwards," explained Golla in the "Bild" interview the reasons.
However, the 23-year-old and his teammates do not want to remain silent on socio-political issues. "In handball, we are supported by the associations when making such statements. We stand for diversity and want to convey this to the outside world," said Golla.