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German players cover mouths in protest at World Cup

APTOPIX WCup Germany Japan Soccer
Posted at 9:24 AM, Nov 23, 2022
and last updated 2022-11-23 12:24:36-05

The German soccer team made a statement on the field before their match against Japan. They posed for a team photo with their hands over their mouths.

The team was among the several European teams that were planning to wear rainbow armbands for the OneLove campaign. The campaign is meant to show solidarity with all people across the globe.

Qatar, which is hosting the World Cup, has faced criticism for human rights abuses, especially toward the LGBTQ and migrant communities.

After Germany's loss to Japan on Wednesday, the team's coach addressed the player's actions.

“It was a sign from the team, from us, that FIFA is muzzling us,” Germany coach Hansi Flick said, according to The Associated Press.

FIFA reportedly said players wearing the rainbow armbands would receive a yellow card. Other teams planning to wear the armbands included the Dutch, England, Wales, Belgium, Switzerland and Denmark.

World Cup teams have spotlighted numerous social issues. When the team from Iran played earlier this week, the players refused to sing their country's national anthem. They wanted to show solidarity with the people protesting the death of a 22-year-old Iranian woman who died in police custody.