the main points
- Germany’s players covered their mouths in support of diversity and tolerance.
- German Interior Minister Nancy Wesser wore the armband as she spoke to the director of football.
The shocking result was a repeat of the 2018 World Cup nightmare when the defending champions lost their opening match to Mexico and, after another defeat to South Korea, were knocked out in the group stage.
Japan celebrates after a goal scored by Takuma Asano during the Group E soccer World Cup match between Germany and Japan, at Khalifa International Stadium in Doha, Qatar, on Wednesday, November 23, 2022. source: aap / AP
“This is a huge disappointment and frustration,” said Germany captain Manuel Neuer.
“We made the opponent strong. The last will made the difference. Japan thought they could win while we thought we could keep the lead.”
Japanese Maya Yoshida said: “This is the beauty of football, it happens sometimes! Now the lights are on our side, it’s time to dance.”
All of Germany’s players took part in a gesture in front of dozens of photographers on the pitch before kick-off after FIFA threatened seven European teams with sanctions if they wore the captain’s armband, which symbolizes diversity and tolerance.
“This is not right, how pressure is put on the federations,” Weser said during a visit to one of the DFB’s events in Doha before the match.
A statement from the German Football Association (DFB) said: “We wanted to use our captain’s armband to take a stand on the values we uphold in the German national team: diversity and mutual respect. And together with other nations, we wanted our voice to be heard.”
Homosexuality is illegal in Qatar.