German players covered their mouths during their team photo before their Group E match against Japan to protest their captain, Manuel Neuer, being denied permission to wear the 'OneLove' armband at the Qatar World Cup.
The Germany football association, DFB, quickly issued a statement about the protest, saying, "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."
Meanwhile, Nancy Faeser, Germany's Interior and Community Minister, was spotted in the stands wearing the 'OneLove' armband alongside German Football Association President Bernd Neuendorf.
What is one love armband:
Football clubs created the 'one love' armband to raise awareness about the LGBTQ community's plight and to express their support. With homosexuality outlawed in Qatar, the host country of the 2022 FIFA World Cup, teams opted to wear the armband to protest the harsh regulation during the major football tournament. The 'one love' armband is a rainbow-colored band that was chosen to bring the subject to the attention of a worldwide audience.
According to FIFA rules, any equipment used by players must not bear any political or religious slogans or remarks. The international football governing body states that captains must only wear armbands issued by FIFA during FIFA competitions such as the World Cup.
Around seven European captains had decided to wear the armband in Qatar to show solidarity with the LGBTQ community, but FIFA's radical decision just hours before the tournament began has forced teams to reconsider.