World Cup 2022: For fear of FIFA sanctions: Germany and Co. do without "One Love" armbands

Several national team captains, including Germany's number one Manuel Neuer, wanted to take a stand against homophobia and racism and for human rights with the colorful "One Love" captain's armbands.

World Cup 2022: For fear of FIFA sanctions: Germany and Co. do without "One Love" armbands

Several national team captains, including Germany's number one Manuel Neuer, wanted to take a stand against homophobia and racism and for human rights with the colorful "One Love" captain's armbands. Now the participants in the action are giving in and complaining in a joint statement about the pressure from Fifa, which is said to have threatened sanctions on the pitch.

The "One Love" campaign was a joint effort by teams from Germany, England, the Netherlands, Belgium, Switzerland, Wales, France, Denmark as well as Norway and Sweden, both of which have not qualified for the World Cup.

"Fifa has made it very clear that if our captains wear the armbands on the field, they will impose sporting sanctions. As national federations, we cannot put our players in a situation where they face sporting sanctions, including dismissals . That's why we asked the captains not to wear the armbands at World Cup matches," read a joint statement from the football associations of Germany, England, Wales, Belgium, Denmark, the Netherlands and Switzerland. France and captain Hugo Lloris withdrew from the campaign last week out of respect for hosts Qatar.

"The fact that Fifa wants to punish us on the pitch is unique and goes against the spirit of sport, which unites millions," said the Dutch association KNVB. "We stand by the 'One Love' message and will continue to spread it, but our number one priority is to win games. You don't want the captain to start the game with a yellow card."

DFB President Bernd Neuendorf had already spoken of differences of opinion with Fifa on Sunday, but also said: "We said we would stick to it, that we would come up with the bandage. (...) We have FIFA again and again a long time in advance pointed out that we want to wear this bandage, there was no reaction from Fifa." After deliberations on Monday, the associations changed their minds.

Fifa had long kept open whether and how they wanted to sanction the solidarity campaign. As reported by the British "Guardian", among others, the referees could have been asked to show the captains a yellow card before kick-off if they were wearing the "One Love" armband. If the captains repeatedly showed defiance, they could have been suspended. Fifa employees could also be sent to the cabins before the start of the game to remove the unwelcome armbands.

The association insisted that the captains wear a different armband every matchday, designed by the organizers and promoting social messages such as 'Football unites the world', 'Share the food' and 'Bring the movement'.

Watch the video: Controversial World Cup in Qatar is underway - videos show chaotic scenes at Fanfest.

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