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German soccer team players cover mouths in team photo protest ahead of World Cup match in Qatar

The German nationwide soccer staff staged a silent protest in opposition to its World Cup hosts in Qatar and the game’s governing our bodies on Friday, declaring that “human rights are non-negotiable.”

Earlier than the Germans kicked off in opposition to Japan at Khalifa Worldwide Stadium in Doha, Qatar, the beginning 11 posed for an image with every man utilizing their proper hand to cowl their mouths.

Human rights activists have lengthy criticized Qatar’s therapy of migrant employees and LGBTQ individuals.

And staff captains of a number of European groups had deliberate to do “One Love” armbands to sign help for the “One Love” marketing campaign for human rights. However the nationwide soccer federations of these squads, as an alternative, adhered to world physique FIFA’s demand to not stage that in-game messaging, amid threats of punishment.

That transfer apparently didn’t sit effectively with Germany, a perennial contender to win the world’s most famed soccer event.

“It wasn’t about making a political assertion — human rights are non-negotiable,” stated an announcement posted on the staff’s English-language Twitter feed. “That must be taken as a right, nevertheless it nonetheless isn’t the case. That’s why this message is so essential to us.”

Germany subsequent performs Sunday in opposition to Spain earlier than, ending Group E play on Dec. 1 in opposition to Costa Rica.

Coming into World Cup play, Germany and Spain have been listed because the No. 5 picks to win all of it, at about 10-to-1 odds.

Sara Mhaidli contributed.

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