The 'One Love' armband affair illustrates Fifa's propensity to 'trick, deceive, trick'
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A hand over his mouth in protest. This is the gesture made, this Wednesday, November 23, by Mannschaft footballers before their first match at this World Cup in Qatar, against Japan. They thus criticized the prohibition made to seven European team captains to wear a “One Love” armband as part of a campaign in support of LGBTQI rights.

In Germany, the position of the International Football Federation (Fifa) – which threatened players wearing the rainbow armband with yellow cards – has been the subject of much criticism. Yet such a scandal was to be expected, analyzes the Suddeutsche Zeitung. For the left-wing newspaper, it was even “naive” to think that an institution as problematic as Fifa would act otherwise.

Selections that have “given in to blackmail”

“Ruse, deceive, deceive, these are the main instruments of Fifa”writes the German title, which castigates those who still believe that “the federation is a serious organization that strives to properly settle problematic issues”. He gives the example of his statements on the consumption of alcohol by supporters on the spot. “For years she promised she would be allowed [autour des stades qataris] – only to come back to that the day before kick-off.”

But the newspaper also denounces the attitude of “the Mannschaft and other teams that gave in to blackmail” FIFA and Qatar, a country where homosexuality is considered illegal. If the captains of each selection had chosen to wear their “One Love” armband despite the threats of sporting sanctions, they might have changed the outcome of the competition.

“Such a scandal would not only have provoked reactions on a large scale in European football, but it would have surpassed all those who have made history in the annals of Fifa, from the goal at Wembley [de l’Angleterre contre l’Allemagne en 1966, un des plus contestés de l’histoire du football] at the ‘hand of God’ by Maradona [en 1986].”

The German players opted for another method of protest by covering their mouths. The section of the Suddeutsche Zeitung, written before the Germany-Japan match on November 23, do not comment on the gesture. However, he regrets that “in football, and especially among executives, the head is not used to think but to hit the ball”. Testifies to it “this farce about a little armband with a political connotation”.

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