THE linesman for Germany’s game against Japan was forced to check whether captain Manuel Neuer was wearing the One Love armband.
Hansi Flick’s side were one of the seven European nations who planned on wearing the One Love armband.
EPAZeegelaar checked Neuer’s armband[/caption]
ReutersGermany staged their own protest by covering their mouths[/caption]
The armband has been used as a message of support and unity, especially for the LGBTQ+ community with England, Wales, Belgium, Holland, Switzerland and Denmark also set to join with Team DFB.
However, Fifa made a last-minute decision to ban the accessory – and threatened captains with yellow cards or even one-match suspensions prompting a U-turn from all seven countries.
It saw captain and goalkeeper Manuel Neuer walk out with the regular generic ‘No Discrimination’ version instead – but linesman Zachari Zeegelaar was forced to check nonetheless.
However, the armband ban didn’t stop Germany from staging a protest.
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The 11 stars, including Chelsea’s Kai Havertz and wonderkid Jamal Musiala, lined up and all covered their mouths with their right hand – as if to say they have been silenced by the tournament organisers.
That includes Fifa president Gianni Infantino, who was in the stadium to witness the silent stand first hand.
Germany’s official team Twitter account said: “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.
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“Denying us the armband is the same as denying us a voice. We stand by our position.
“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.”