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German Vice Chancellor on wearing 'OneLove' armband at FIFA World Cup: Opportunity is there

FIFA World Cup 2022: German Vice Chancellor Robert Habeck said that he would be wearing the 'OneLove' armband at the ongoing tournament to see what happens in Qatar.

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A fan wearing rainbow colours at FIFA World Cup. (AP Photo)

In Short

  • FIFA has threatened federations for wearing OneLove armbands
  • Germany started its World Cup campaign against Japan on Nov 23
  • Robert Habeck said he will wear the armband to see what happens

By India Today Web Desk: German Vice Chancellor Robert Habeck said that he would be wearing the 'OneLove' armband at the ongoing FIFA World Cup to see what happens in Qatar.

FIFA threatened European federations with players wearing the armband receiving a yellow card at the ongoing tournament.

Habeck added that it was not for him to decide what Germany captain Manuel Neuer does. The Vice Chancellor's comments come while there is a spat over wearing 'OneLove' armbands in Qatar, the World Cup 2022 host nation, where same-sex relations are illegal and punishable.

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Germany will begin its World Cup campaign against Japan on Wednesday, November 23.

When asked whether German players should wear the armband, Habeck told broadcaster ZDF: "I am not the media advisor of the DFB (German Football Association) and I am not Manuel Neuer but the opportunity is there."

"I am a politician trying to do my job properly, but what would happen if it happened now? I would like to know and I would take my chances," he added.

Meanwhile, German Interior Minister Nancy Faeser said FIFA's decision was a "grave mistake".

"This is not alright, how federations are being put under pressure," Faeser said during a visit to a German FA event in Doha. "These were not the security guarantees I had received from (Qatar's) Interior Minister" (During her earlier visit in November).

"In today's times it is incomprehensible that FIFA does not want people to openly stand for tolerance and against discrimination. It does not fit in our times and it is not appropriate towards people."

German FA President Bernd Neuendorf said the threat of FIFA sanctions was not the way to go for such diversity issues.

"Because we all remember the words of (FIFA President) Gianni Infantino," Neuendorf said. "That is definitely not a sign of welcome for us if you are led out of the stadium or threatened to be led out of the stadium, so to speak, because you are making a point like this."

"FIFA has expressly stated in its letter that it reserves the right to appeal to the FIFA Disciplinary Committee in the case of such offences, in inverted commas, i.e. the wearing of the armband, which could then impose further penalties, so to speak."