Japan shocked protest against Germany with ‘brutally disappointing’ victory

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.
Late goals from Ritsu Doan and Takuma Asano gave Japan a stunning 2-1 victory over Germany in Wednesday.
The four-time champions looked to be on their way to victory through an Ilkay Gundogan penalty but paid a fatal price for their missed chances.

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.”

‘dancing time’

“It’s very disappointing,” said coach Hansi Flick. “We feel upset that we lost the game because we had chances. We have to look forward. We have a chance to get six points.”
“I think it’s a historic moment and a historic victory,” Japanese coach Hajime Moriyasu said.

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.”

Before the match against Japan, German players had lined up for a pre-match team photo with their hands over their mouths as the row continued over FIFA’s threat to sanction the “OneLove” armband.

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.

German Interior Minister Nancy Weser, seated next to FIFA President Gianni Infantino in the stands, wore the captain’s armband as she spoke with the director of football.
Earlier, FIFA lashed out, saying that threatening penalties is wrong and not acceptable behaviour.

“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.

“Nowadays, it is incomprehensible that FIFA does not want people to stand publicly for tolerance and against discrimination. It is not appropriate for our times and it is not appropriate for people.”

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.”

“It wasn’t about making a political statement – human rights are non-negotiable. It should be taken for granted, but it still is. That’s why this message is so important to us. To deny us the armband is like denying us a voice. We are We stand with our position.”

Homosexuality is illegal in Qatar.

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