MADINAT ASH SHAMAL, Qatar (AP) — Germany goalkeeper Manuel Neuer is set to defy FIFA’s campaign for captains to wear only official armbands with selected slogans at World Cup games.
“Yes,” the veteran goalkeeper said Saturday when asked at the Germany training camp about overriding a new FIFA project backed by United Nations agencies.
The launch a day before the opening World Cup match seemed designed to supplant a pledge by European teams to wear their own armbands as part of an anti-discrimination campaign drawing attention to host nation Qatar’s laws and record on human rights issues.
World Cup rules require that equipment such as captains’ armbands must be authorized and provided by FIFA, but Neuer confirmed he will wear the “One Love” design even if it comes with a fine.
“It’s good that we have the power with other nations in western Europe,” Neuer said.
Although Germany does not play until Wednesday, against Japan, three teams which joined the “One Love” campaign in September will play on Monday: England, the Netherlands and Wales.
FIFA had not directly addressed the Europeans’ request several weeks ago for permission to wear the heart-shaped, multi-colored logo, then unveiled its counter proposal on Saturday.
The FIFA choice of slogans for group games include “SaveThePlanet,” “ProtectChildren” and “ShareTheMeal.”
The slogan “NoDiscrimination” is scheduled to appear at quarterfinal stage.
“Obviously the short notice is surprising,” Germany team director Oliver Bierhoff said within two hours of the announcement. “It looks as if FIFA doesn’t have a clear stance.”
AP World Cup coverage: https://apnews.com/hub/world-cup and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports
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