Roy Keane has played down Germany’s powerful gesture prior to their clash against Japan on Wednesday and says the players must ‘do more’ to speak out on issues.
Die Mannschaft’s squad all covered their mouths with their hands during the pre-match team photo in protest over ’s threat to sanction players who wear the ‘OneLove’ rainbow armband.
Germany were one of seven European nations who wanted to wear the armbands to show solidarity with the LGBTQ+ community and highlight ’s archaic homosexuality laws.
But on the eve of the tournament, FIFA raised the possibility of sporting and financial sanctions which prompted the federations to backtrack.
Denmark are now urging nations to re-evaluate their relationship with FIFA once the World Cup is over and , while Germany made their feelings very clear on the pitch.
Former Manchester United midfielder Keane, though, feels the players could still do more to raise the issues and believes a yellow card is a price worth paying to broadcast their message of solidarity.
‘It’s a gesture and it’s a start but I still think they can do a lot more,’ said Keane on ITV Sport when asked about Germany’s gesture.
‘They say they’re being silenced, by who? By who?! The most important people in football are the supporters and the players, use their voice. Use their voice!
‘Wear the armband! Stand up! Leadership is about action – go and do it! This is just going to drag on. Go and do it!
‘Listen, it’s a gesture and it’s a start but they can do more.’
Fellow pundit Ian Wright was far more impressed with Germany’s stance and hopes other teams follow suit, saying: ‘I’m delighted for them because they’ve done something and it’s on a global stage.
‘It’s a global moment for people to see and the LGBTQ+ community to see that people are standing with them in solidarity. That’s fantastic from the Germans. I hope other teams do the same.’
Germany’s Interior Minister Nancy Faeser was in the stands in Qatar for the match – and was even sat next to FIFA president Gianni Infantino – and sported the banned ‘OneLove’ armband.
Earlier in the day she had slammed FIFA’s behaviour, saying: ‘This is not alright, how federations are being put under pressure.
‘In today’s times it is incomprehensible that FIFA does not want people to openly stand for tolerance and against discrimination. It does not fit in our times and it is not appropriate towards people.’
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