World Cup: Fans insist Germany ‘DESERVED to lose’ to Japan

Football fans have slammed Germany’s players for ‘only focusing on politics’ in the build-up to their shock World Cup defeat by Japan on Wednesday.

Germany’s players made a statement in their pre-match team photo before their opening World Cup game with Japan as they covered their mouths in protest at being blocked from wearing an anti-discrimination armband.

It followed a joint statement from seven European nations, including Germany plus England and Wales, to drop plans to wear the ‘OneLove’ armband after threats of sporting sanctions from FIFA.

While Germany’s players looked to make a political statement off the pitch, fans have accused them of failing to make a statement on the pitch, as they fell to a shock 2-1 defeat by Japan soon after.

Many fans insist Hansi Flick’s men ‘deserved’ to lose for focusing ‘only on politics’, claiming they got ‘sidetracked’ in the process. Others claimed Germany ‘let the politics get to their head’ while one fan insisted that Germany needed to ‘respect Qatar’s culture’ on Wednesday.

After the protest and as the match kicked off, the German Football Association (DFB) released a statement emphatically supporting its team, saying: ‘To ban the armband is like banning our right to speak.’

Meanwhile, watching from the stands, Germany’s Interior Minister Nancy Faeser wore the armband instead. Faeser was later seen sitting next to FIFA president Gianni Infantino with her armband proudly on display.

FIFA had threatened seven European teams with sanctions if they wore the armband symbolising diversity and tolerance. England, Wales, Belgium, the Netherlands, Switzerland, Germany and Denmark had said on Monday they had been put under pressure by FIFA, and abandoned the plans to wear the symbol in the conservative Muslim country.

It was initially reported that the sanction would take the form of a yellow card to the player wearing the armband, but reports later suggested FIFA had threatened further punishments to the players and teams should they opt to wear the armband.

Security staff at the World Cup have ordered spectators to remove items of clothing featuring rainbow logos.


The Mail

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