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Federal Interior Minister Nancy Faeser next to DFB President Bernd Neuendorf in the stands. © Federico Gambarini/dpa

Interior Minister Nancy Faeser expresses undisguised anger at FIFA – and sets an example at the World Cup. However, your wish for a legal review will probably not come true.

Al-Rajjan – Nancy Faeser stripped off her pink blazer to show off the ‘One Love’ armband. In the grandstand next to FIFA President Gianni Infantino, the Federal Minister of the Interior sent a clear signal of openness and diversity at the botched start of the World Cup by the DFB selection against Japan in Al-Rajjan.

Even before the kick-off, the SPD politician had renewed her sharp criticism of the world football association FIFA, which had banned teams from wearing the symbol at the finals in Qatar under threat of sanctions.

Faeser described FIFA’s decision as a “big mistake” and “unacceptable”. It’s not okay to intervene in a tournament in such a way. I hope that it will be legally clarified whether it is even permissible to impose sanctions,” Faeser told ARD. In Germany, government spokesman Steffen Hebestreit said he hoped “that these discussions will positively change the awareness of major sporting events, future organizers and the attitude of the associations”.

No walk in front of the cas for the time being

In the case, the DFB had announced that it would consider going to the International Court of Arbitration for Sports (CAS). But it probably won’t come to that. According to a report by the Dutch broadcaster NOS, the associations in England, Wales, Belgium, Germany, Denmark, Switzerland and the Netherlands have refrained from doing so for the time being.

“It is not possible to move before the CAS. The Germans are examining the legal options, but you can’t go before the CAS without first appealing to FIFA,” said Denmark’s head of the association, Jakob Jensen.

The world association had threatened sporting sanctions in the event that the multicolored “One Love” captain’s armband was worn at the World Cup games in Qatar. “We see that it is obviously not possible to position oneself or send a sign of solidarity in the context of this FIFA World Cup, which I personally think is a shame,” said government spokesman Hebestreit. Like all nations participating in the campaign, the DFB is refraining from the planned action. Instead, the German internationals held a hand in front of their mouths for the team photo immediately before kick-off.

“With our captain’s armband, we wanted to set an example for values ​​that we live in the national team: diversity and mutual respect. Be loud together with other nations. It’s not about a political message: Human rights are non-negotiable,” the German Football Association tweeted after the start of the game. “It should go without saying. Unfortunately it still isn’t. That is why this message is so important to us. Banning us from the bandage is like banning our mouths. Our stance stands.”

Quiet criticism of the DFB

Faeser, who met with Infantino before the game together with DFB President Bernd Neuendorf, nevertheless voiced mild criticism of the DFB. “I would have liked a clearer stance, but it is a joint decision by all associations,” said the interior minister. At the same time, she put it into perspective: “The DFB is not the origin. The origin is FIFA.”

The resentment in the football scene about the actions of the world association is correspondingly great. “Meanwhile, I only have a big neck on FIFA,” said former national soccer player Thomas Hitzlsperger on ARD, adding: “I find it incredible what they are taking on.”

FIFA President Infantino “knows very well that Europe is divided. He takes advantage of it to the last day. I find it abysmal that FIFA is pretending to be a charitable association. It’s such a desolate, dysfunctional organization that I have to get upset about it,” Hitzlsperger continued.

Bobic: “Corrupt system of FIFA”

Fredi Bobic, Managing Director of Bundesliga club Hertha BSC, fumed on MagentaTV: “Unfortunately, we won’t change this corrupt FIFA system any time soon, that’s the biggest scandal because it’s extremely damaging to football and it’s not fair to the guys playing a tournament want.”

The indignation at Neuendorf is similarly great. “FIFA works with intimidation and pressure, you have to state that first,” said the DFB president on ARD. “I stand by everything I’ve said about human rights. We are in opposition to FIFA, it is very important that this is made clear here. We have to consider what conclusions we can draw from this.” dpa

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