The 2022 World Cup in Qatar has been surrounded by controversy. Since the very selection of the Gulf state as host, there have been concerns about human rights violations, especially regarding LGBTIQ community and women, as well as the treatment of migrant workers. That’s why Germany took a stance before their opening match against Japan. 

In Qatar, homosexuality is punished with up to three years in jail. Many countries, including the UK, have warned LGBTQ fans against traveling to Qatar, and there are many safety guides for those who decide to go. 

FIFA has been trying to silence any sign of protests from fans, players, journalists or federations. Manuel Neuer, captain of Germany, was supposed to wear the OneLove armband supporting the LGBTIQ rights, and fans wearing the rainbow flags haven’t been allowed to enter stadiums. However, German players found a way to show their discontent. 

Germany players’ protest before their match against Japan 

Despite speculation, especially after the TV cameras didn’t show his arm, Neuer didn’t wear the OneLove armband. Instead, he is wearing the “no discrimination” one (which was also worn by Harry Kane). However, he and his teammates took a jab at FIFA with their pre-match photo. 

They covered their mouths with their hands, symbolizing a gesture of “being silenced.” Earlier, Neuer said that  the team “haven't experienced something like this - the whole tournament is an experiment. But we have the complete backing of the (German Football Association), we have no fear."

"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," the team said in a statement on Twitter. 

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

Enjoy all the Qatar 2022 FIFA World Cup matches from the United States through FuboTV. Click here and to take advantage of their 7-day free trial offer. You can also check all the possible results of the tournament, using our World Cup simulator.