The Germany national soccer team made a protest towards FIFA and the Qatar World Cup during their prematch team photo. Players covered their mouths, alluding to the lack of voice for the players.

FIFA banned the use of OneLove captain armbands at the World Cup in Qatar and has asked teams to ‘focus on football‘ while at the tournament.

“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,” read a DFB statement on their official Twitter account. “Together with other nations, we wanted our voice to be heard.”

“It wasn’t about making a political statement – human rights are non-negotiable,” continued the statement. “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.”

Germany, like six other teams at the World Cup, did not wear the OneLove armband after FIFA warned of sanctions. Captain Manuel Neuer’s armband was inspected by a FIFA official prior to kickoff. However, along with the gesture during the pregame photo, Neuer played the match against Japan in rainbow-colored cleats.

Germany first to protest at the World Cup

The DFB is also reportedly checking the legality of FIFA’s ban on the OneLove armbands. “FIFA has forbidden us from using a symbol of diversity and human rights,” stated DFB media director Steffen Simon.

“They combined this with massive threats of sporting sanctions without specifying them. The DFB is checking whether this action by FIFA was legal.”

Simon previously claimed that the world’s governing body of the sport used ‘extreme blackmail‘ to block the OneLove armbands at the World Cup. The DFB has also contacted the Court of Arbitration for Sport on whether or not FIFA overstepped boundaries to ban the armband. Germany is hoping that Neuer can wear the OneLove armband for their second match of the tournament on Sunday.

PHOTO: IMAGO / Bildbyran

Guide to World Cup 2022

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TV Schedule: All the info on where and when to watch every game
The Groups: We breakdown each group and all the teams
The Kits: Check out what every team will be wearing on the field this fall
Predictor: Play out every scenario with our World Cup Predictor
World Cup Bracket: Map out the entire tournament, from the groups to the final