Belgium Star After Germany Protest: We're Here To Play Football, Not Send A Political Message

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Germany's players sent a message to FIFA prior to their opening World Cup match against Japan on Wednesday. 

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The starters for Germany's squad covered their mouths for their team photo. This was their way of protesting FIFA's decision to abandon the anti-discrimination OneLove initiative.

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"It was a sign from the team, from us, that FIFA is muzzling us," Germany coach Hansi Flick said following Wednesday's match.

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Belgium captain Eden Hazard was asked to share his thoughts on Germany's protest. He believes the national team would've been better off winning their match instead of sending a "political message" to FIFA. 

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"Yes but afterwards, they lost the match," Hazard said. "They would have been better off not doing it and winning.

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"We're here to play football. I'm not here to pass on a political message, there are people who are better placed for that. We want to be concentrated on the football."

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FIFA actually threatened team captains with a yellow card if they wore the OneLove armband on the field. 

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It's important to note that same-sex relationships are criminalized in Qatar. That's why the OneLove initiative has been a controversial topic for the 2022 World Cup. Germany will return to the pitch on Sunday to face Spain.

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