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Wearing the “One Love” captain’s armband could result in sanctions. © Sebastian Gollnow/dpa

DFB captain Manuel Neuer will wear the “One Love” bandage on Wednesday. Even if the world association FIFA would like it to be different. It remains to be seen whether it will actually be sanctioned.

Doha – The multi-colored patch of fabric covering the upper arms of Manuel Neuer and other star players continues to spark debate in Qatar.

The “One Love” captain’s armband from originally ten European associations is not accepted by the world football association and could lead to sanctions, as emerged from a consultation between the working group of the European Football Union and FIFA Secretary General Fatma Samoura.

“We said we’d stick to it, that we’d run out with the bandage,” said DFB President Bernd Neuendorf in a ZDF interview. So there was no agreement. “We have repeatedly pointed out to FIFA well in advance that we want to wear this bandage, but FIFA has not reacted to this,” added the DFB President.

The first captain to openly flout FIFA regulations during the finals is likely to be England’s Harry Kane in Monday’s (2pm) game against Iran. The Netherlands are also part of the UEFA alliance in the following game against Senegal (17.00) and Welsh in the evening (20.00) against the USA. This had presented the bandage with “heart in bright colors that stand for diversity” and the inscription “One Love” in September. Qatar has been criticized for disregarding human rights standards, among other things.

France’s captain does not wear bandage

The campaign was a joint action by teams from Germany, England, the Netherlands, Belgium, Switzerland, Wales, France, Denmark as well as Norway and Sweden, both of which have not qualified for the World Cup. France captain Hugo Lloris recently announced that he would not wear the bandage. Dutch national coach Louis van Gaal said: “I don’t talk about politics anymore. I stopped doing that and told my players to do the same. The focus is now on the game.”

FIFA only presented its own new captain’s armbands on Friday – two days before the opening game. “The participating teams will have the opportunity to send messages during the games via the team captains’ armbands,” said the world association. Messages that FIFA, according to the announcement, have devised together with three United Nations organizations.

Neuer had already said on Saturday that he would wear the captain’s armband in the World Cup opener against Japan on Wednesday regardless of possible sanctions. Neuendorf had also announced in the DFB media center in the north of the country that it would also pay a fine. “For me, this is not a political statement, but a statement for human rights,” he said.

FIFA wants to examine each individual case

The bandage stands for the fight “against racism, against anti-Semitism, for women’s rights and human rights in general”. The English had made similar statements and put a little money aside.

Whether FIFA will actually sanction the World Cup participants remains to be seen. Each individual case is checked. When some teams – including the DFB selection – demonstrated for human rights before World Cup qualifiers, there was no penalty. Before the game against Iceland kicked off in March 2021, the German team posed for a photo wearing special “human rights” shirts.

When Denmark applied to FIFA, among other things, to train in shirts with the words “Human rights for all” during the Qatar tournament, the offer was rejected. The world association prohibited this as a “political message”. dpa

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