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German politician Nancy Faeser sat next to FIFA president Gianni Infantino wearing a OneLove armband

German politician Nancy Faeser sat next to FIFA president Gianni Infantino wearing a OneLove armband

She concealed the armband under a red jacket and then took it off when she sat beside Gianni Infantino.

German politician Nancy Faeser sat next to FIFA president Gianni Infantino wearing a OneLove armband during Wednesday's World Cup clash between Germany and Japan.

In the build-up to this winter's controversial World Cup in Qatar, a number of European nations decided their captains would wear the OneLove armband in a bid to show solidarity with the LGBTQ+ community.

But the likes of Germany, England, Denmark and other European nations have backed down following the threat of sporting sanctions.

With the subject very much a talking point amongst players and fans, the German national team decided to protest against FIFA’s ban of the armband before kick-off against Japan by covering their mouth in a team photo.

In a post on their official Twitter account, the German national team explained the gesture.

"It wasn’t about making a political statement – human rights are non-negotiable. That should be taken for granted, but it still isn’t the case. That’s why this message is so important to us."

They added: "Denying us the armband is the same as denying us a voice. We stand by our position.

"We wanted to use our captain’s armband to take a stand for values that we hold in the Germany national team: diversity and mutual respect. Together with other nations, we wanted our voice to be heard."

And ahead of kick-off at the Khalifa International Stadium, Germany's interior minister, Nancy Faeser, decided to make a statement by wearing the OneLove armband as she sat next to FIFA president Gianni Infantino.

Faeser, who is Germany’s interior minister, called the armband ban a “massive mistake” by FIFA.

“It breaks the heart of every fan to see how FIFA is also putting the burden of this on to the shoulders of the players,” she said.

The German football association is taking FIFA to the Court of Arbitration for Sport over their ban on players wearing OneLove armbands at the World Cup.

DFB media director Steffen Simon confirmed they are explored their legal position on the matter.

“FIFA has forbidden us from using a symbol of diversity and human rights,” he said. “They combined this with massive threats of sporting sanctions without specifying them.

“The DFB is checking whether this action by FIFA was legal.”

In the ITV studio on Wednesday, pundit Ian Wright criticised teams at the World Cup for not wearing the armband.

“No protest without risk, if you’re going to protest there’s some risk in it,” the former Arsenal striker said. “I get the vibe from them, the Danes, [talking about] suing FIFA and all this other stuff.

“It’s like when you have a fight with someone and the fights broken up and you want to fight - it’s done. It’s ridiculous, are we going to sue them? For what? Wear the armband, take the consequences.”

Featured Image Credit: Alamy

Topics: Football World Cup, Germany, Japan, FIFA