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German footballers cover mouths in apparent protest at FIFA over 'OneLove' armbands

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By Euronews
Germany's players before their match against Japan on Wednesday
Germany's players before their match against Japan on Wednesday   -   Copyright  AP Photo

Germany's football players covered their mouths before their World Cup match with Japan on Wednesday in an apparent protest with FIFA over wearing special armbands.

Several European countries had wanted their captains to wear "One Love" armbands in Qatar to show support for the LGBT community. 

But they backed down after world football governing body FIFA threatened to issue yellow cards to players wearing them.

Same-sex relationships -- and their promotion -- are criminalised in Qatar.

Nevertheless, organisers of the Qatar tournament have repeatedly said all visitors will be welcomed and treated with respect, regardless of sexuality or gender. Unmarried couples will not be banned from sharing accommodation.

On Saturday, FIFA's president, Gianni Infantino, accused the West of hypocrisy over its reporting of Qatar's human rights record.