DFB and top nations buckle: Neuer plays without a “One Love” armband because of FIFA sanctions

FIFA is serious: If the captain of a national team actually shows up with the "One Love" armband at the World Cup in Qatar, then there is a yellow card.

DFB and top nations buckle: Neuer plays without a “One Love” armband because of FIFA sanctions

FIFA is serious: If the captain of a national team actually shows up with the "One Love" armband at the World Cup in Qatar, then there is a yellow card. Therefore, both the DFB team and other top nations do not wear the armband.

Captain Manuel Neuer will not wear the "One Love" captain's armband at the World Cup games of the German national soccer team in Qatar. The DFB announced that the German Football Association and the other associations involved in the campaign for equality and freedom of expression would refrain from using the symbol because of the threat of FIFA sanctions.

"FIFA has made it very clear that if our captains wear the bandages on the field, they will impose sporting sanctions," they said in a joint statement. In addition to Germany, many other European nations had planned to wear the multicolored captain's armband with a heart.

"The fact that FIFA wants to punish us on the pitch is unique and goes against the spirit of sport, which unites millions," said the Dutch association KNVB. "We stand by the One Love message and will continue to spread it, but our number one priority is to win games. You don't want the captain to start the game with a yellow card." Captain Virgil van Dijk had already announced on Sunday that he did not want to take the risk of a yellow card. According to the KNVB, they will take a "critical look at our relationship with FIFA" in the coming months.

The first captain to openly flout FIFA regulations during the finals would have been England's Harry Kane against Iran. "We had been willing to pay penalties, which would normally be the case for dress code violations. However, we couldn't put our players in a situation where they could get a yellow card or even be forced to leave the field "said the joint statement distributed by the English FA.

DFB President Bernd Neuendorf had already spoken of differences of opinion with FIFA on Sunday, but also said: "We said we would stick to it, that we would come up with the armband. (...) We have FIFA again and again a long time in advance pointed out that we want to play with this armband, there was no reaction from FIFA." After deliberations on Monday, the associations changed their minds.

FIFA only presented its own new captain's armbands on Friday - two days before the opening game. "The participating teams will have the opportunity to send messages during the games via the team captains' armbands," said the world association. According to the announcement, FIFA devised the messages together with three United Nations organizations.

The "One Love" campaign was a joint effort by teams from Germany, England, the Netherlands, Belgium, Switzerland, Wales, France, Denmark as well as Norway and Sweden, both of which have not qualified for the World Cup. France captain Hugo Lloris recently announced that he would not wear the bandage. He didn't want to answer any questions: "Fifa organizes the competition, defines a framework and rules. We players are required to play football and represent our countries as well as possible," said the 35-year-old.

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