Germany’s Manuel Neuer speaks to the media during the Germany press conference in Al Ruwais, Qatar on November 19, 2022. | Photo Credit: Alexander Hassenstein
Germany goalkeeper Manuel Neuer is set to defy FIFA’s campaign for captains to only wear official armbands with select slogans at World Cup games.
“Yes,” the veteran goalkeeper said on November 19, 2022 when asked at the training camp in Germany about overriding a new FIFA project supported by United Nations agencies.
The launch a day before the opening World Cup match appears to be designed to replace a pledge by European teams to wear their own armbands as part of an anti-discrimination campaign that draws attention to host Qatar’s laws and record on human rights issues.
World Cup rules require that equipment such as captains’ armbands must be authorized and issued by FIFA, but Neuer has confirmed he will wear the “One Love” design despite the fine.
“It’s good that we have power over other countries in western Europe,” Neuer said.
Although Germany does not play until Wednesday, against Japan, three teams that joined the “One Love” campaign in September will play on Monday: England, Netherlands and Wales.
FIFA indirectly responded to the Europeans’ request several weeks ago for permission to wear the heart-shaped, multicolored logo, then announced its counter proposal on Saturday.
FIFA’s choice of slogans for the group games included “Save The Planet,” “Protect Children” and “Share The Meal.”
The slogan “No Discrimination” is set to appear at the quarterfinal stage.
“Obviously the short notice was surprising,” Germany team director Oliver Bierhoff said within two hours of the announcement. “FIFA doesn’t seem to have a clear stance.”