FIFA prohibited Manuel Neuer from wearing the rainbow bracelet and the German team protested against the measure before debuting at the World Cup in Qatar: the eleven footballers covered their mouths in the photo prior to the game in Japan.
The gesture was seen as a protest against Qatar and against FIFA, and he was not the only one who marked the game: Neuer wore a bracelet with the slogan ‘No discrimination’ promoted by FIFA, but covered it with his sleeve at the time before jumping onto the field and during the game, and the German Interior Minister, Nancy Faeser, appeared in the stadium box, next to the authorities of the Asian country, wearing the bracelet of controversy.
Before the World Cup, Germany had announced that it would wear a bracelet with a heart and with colors similar, although not identical, to those of the LGBT flag, but FIFA reported that it would sanction it as it was a “political” message.
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In Germany there were large protests over the decision of the national team to give in to FIFA’s threats, to the point that the first German public television channel, ARD he issued a comment saying that it was better for Germany to “lose points and be eliminated in the group stage with the bracelet than to be world champion without the bracelet”.