The German Football Association has received massive criticism because the national team submits to FIFA and does without the "One Love" armband. Now the media director justifies the decision. The world association "extremely blackmailed" the teams involved.
DFB media director Steffen Simon also explained the waiver of the "One Love" captain's armband at the World Cup with the fact that "FIFA threatened massively". On the evening before the English team's Monday game, whose captain Harry Kane also wanted to wear the "One Love" armband, the tournament director visited the English team, warned of "multiple rule violations" and threatened "massive sporting sanctions".
However, these were never specified, Simon explained in an interview with Deutschlandfunk, in which he accused FIFA of "extreme blackmail". The world football association had officially justified the ban on the "One Love" bandage with the World Cup regulations recognized by all participants. Article 13.8.1 of the Kit Rules had been mentioned: "For FIFA final competitions, the captain of each team must wear an armband provided by FIFA." FIFA supports campaigns like "One Love", but this must be done within the framework of the rules known to all.
It is not known whether the captain would have received a yellow card for wearing the bandage, and a point deduction was "theoretically" possible, said Simon. "That's part of FIFA's game: always leaving the associations vague." Economic sanctions would have been accepted, but not sporting consequences for the players.
Against this background, Simon defended the DFB's decision not to use the "One Love" armband: "We didn't give in to FIFA. We lost the armband, but not our values". Now you have to think of other forms to announce this. But he admitted: "We lost the symbol - and that hurts a lot."
DFB President Bernd Neuendorf said on Tuesday: "We are experiencing an unprecedented event in World Cup history." Horrified criticism of FIFA's actions also came from the other associations concerned, which wanted to wear the "One Love" armband.
The decision of the seven associations involved to forego the bandage after the threat also met with massive opposition. Critics saw the withdrawal as giving in and snuggling. Some compared the DFB's task against FIFA with the courageous Iran protesters and the national players who were silent during the anthem before kick-off - and called the German association cowardly. Others called on the DFB to withdraw from the tournament.