The German Football Association (DFB) are considering taking legal action against FIFA after the sport’s governing body banned teams from wearing a OneLove captain’s armband.

MILAN, ITALY - SEPTEMBER 23: Harry Kane and Harry Maguire of England look on during the UEFA Nations League League A Group 3 match between Italy and England at San Siro on September 23, 2022 in Milan, Italy. (Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images)
MILAN, ITALY – SEPTEMBER 23: Harry Kane and Harry Maguire of England look on during the UEFA Nations League League A Group 3 match between Italy and England at San Siro on September 23, 2022 in Milan, Italy. (Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images)

England, Wales, Belgium, the Netherlands, Switzerland, Germany and Denmark all intended to wear a OneLove captain’s armband during the World Cup in Qatar in protest against the country’s anti-LGBTQ+ laws.

FIFA, however, stepped in and allegedly ‘ threatened’ those nations, resulting in all of them very quickly abandoning their stance.

This stood in stark contrast to the Iranian team who refused to sing their national anthem in solidarity with protests at home.

Theirs was a protest that is likely to come with very real world consequences for the players and their families.

DOHA, QATAR - NOVEMBER 21: Iranian players line up for the national anthem prior to the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 Group B match between England and IR Iran at Khalifa International Stadium on November 21, 2022 in Doha, Qatar. (Photo by Matthias Hangst/Getty Images)
DOHA, QATAR – NOVEMBER 21: Iranian players line up for the national anthem prior to the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 Group B match between England and IR Iran at Khalifa International Stadium on November 21, 2022 in Doha, Qatar. (Photo by Matthias Hangst/Getty Images)

Speaking to Bild in Germany, DFB’s media director, Steffen Simon, said, “The tournament director went to the English team and talked about multiple rule violations and threatened with massive sporting sanctions without specifying what these would be.

“We lost the armband and it is very painful but we are the same people as before with the same values. We are not impostors who claim they have values and then betray them.

“We were in an extreme situation, in an extreme blackmail and we thought we had to take that decision without wanting to do so.”

Germany threaten legal action on armband ban The Daily Telegraph23 Nov 2022By Tom Morgan The German Football Association (DFB) has warned Fifa it could face legal action over the “Onelove” armband ban.  The DFB’S media director, Steffen Simon, told German Deutschlandfunk radio that countries were facing “extreme blackmail” of “massive sanctions” from Fifa.  England, Wales, Belgium, the Netherlands, Switzerland, Germany and Denmark said they had been put under pressure by Fifa, which had threatened to issue yellow cards to players who wore the armband. As a result Harry Kane wore the Fifa-approved “no discrimination” band against Iran after a last-minute switch.  Simon told German newspaper Bild that the DFB had taken the matter to the Court of Arbitration for Sport in Switzerland. “Fifa has forbidden us from using a symbol of diversity and human rights,” he said. “The DFB is keen to clarify whether Fifa’s procedure is in fact legitimate.”  Kane said that the decision to back down had been “taken out of my hands”. The captains of seven World Cup nations had repeatedly pledged to wear the armband in support of LGBT rights in Qatar.  But hours before kick-off, Fifa threatened “sporting sanctions” against players who defied its rules.
Daily Telegraph 23 November 2022

It should be noted that people who actually intend to blackmail are usually quite specific about what the outcome will be.

These vague threats smack of FIFA taking a chance and hoping that the nations would be too afraid to stand up to them.

Given that the seven nations folded at the first bit of pushback, FIFA were right to make that assumption.

Those countries have a lot of work to do to convince me they really had no choice other than to throw the LGBTQ+ community under the bus.

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Writer. Feminist. Dreamer. Gooner. Owner of DailyCannon.com, writing about Arsenal since 2008. Sometimes found in the Guardian, Vice.com & elsewhere talking queer issues, politics & football. If in doubt, assume sarcasm.