World Cup 2022 in Qatar
“Embarrassing to catastrophic”: The national team’s captain’s armband without the colors of the rainbow caused criticism
Many had wanted a captain’s armband in LGBTQ colors as a sign against homophobia at the World Cup in Qatar. Instead, Manuel Neuer will wear a “One Love” bandage – not everyone likes that.
Thomas Müller has the honor of being the first to wear the new captain’s armband of the national football team. When the team of national coach Hansi Flick plays against Hungary on Friday evening (from 8.45 p.m. live on ZDF) a bandage will decorate the left arm of Manuel Neuer’s deputy (cancelled due to Corona), which is similarly colorful to the LGBTQ flag, but not the same. A heart in bright colors and the lettering “One Love” adorn the new piece. It is not only intended as a sign against homophobia, but also stands in general against discrimination and for diversity.
That causes criticism. “That seems weak. It’s not even the Pride flag, it has other colors on it. If it’s the only attitude that DFB has, it would be embarrassing to catastrophic. I expect from the DFB and I also think that there will be more,” said the representative of the fan organization “Our Curve”, Dario Minden, in an interview with the newspaper “Der Tagesspiegel”.
Hansi Flick rejects criticism
For once, even “tageszeitung” and “Bild” agree. The left-leaning newspaper taz complains that the DFB’s decision to use the new bandage is “thready,” and the tabloid complains that the association is “rainbow cowards.” The accusation is that the new bandage is a “concession” to the rulers in Qatar and not a real protest. It is important to know that Fifa has promised that LGBTQ colors will be welcome in Qatar during the World Cup. However, it can be doubted that this is actually the case. Homosexuality is a punishable offense in the Arab country. You risk up to seven years in prison if you act it out in public.
National coach Hansi Flick rejected the criticism of the “One Love Bandage”. “It’s easy to always criticize when you’re sitting somewhere and not making the decision,” said the national coach. “It’s now about the fact that it’s not just the colors of the rainbow, but all of them. It means everyone, every single person who is sitting here, who is in the world. It’s about us being equal.”
The idea for the “One Love Bandage” comes from Holland. National player Georginio Wijnaldum wore them in last year’s European Championship match against the Czech Republic in the Hungarian capital Budapest. At the time, it was a targeted action against the homophobic legislation of the Hungarian government under Prime Minister Viktor Urban.
At the European Championship, the national team still wore the colors of the rainbow
The DFB-Elf still relied on the LGBTQ colors at the EM. Neuer wore the captain’s armband in rainbow colors in the group game against Hungary in Munich’s Allianz Arena. The city of Munich even wanted to light up the stadium in rainbow colors, which Uefa prohibited. The reasoning at the time was that the action was political and contradicted the regulations.
With the World Cup in Qatar in mind, eight national football associations got together and took up the “one love idea”. Alongside Germany and the Netherlands, France, Belgium, Denmark, Norway, Sweden and Wales will wear the new armband (Sweden and Norway do not qualify for Qatar).