Neuer and Goretzka only Germans support World Cup protest

German public broadcaster ARD via Bild have reported that only two players, Manuel Neuer and Leon Goretzka, were in favor of holding a protest against FIFA’s ban on the One Love bracelet.

The report claims that other players were not in favor of covering their mouths while posing for the pre-game team photo against Japan, which the Europeans lost 2-1.

Players parted ways over protest

It is believed that several ideas were discussed, with the hand-to-mouth gesture being the choice that gained Joshua Kimmich’s support. The Bild reported that the other players didn’t want to do anything at all.

Previously, former Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger claimed Germany’s political demonstrations contributed to their shock exit from the group stage.

The 2014 World Cup winners defeated Costa Rica in their final group stage match, but failed to qualify for the knockout stage as Japan stunned Spain.

It was Germany’s second consecutive group stage exit at the World Cup, following their disastrous outing in Russia four years ago.

Matthus denounces the German FA

Former national player and legend Lothar Matthaus criticism of the German FA claiming that the governing body abandoned their team because of their stance on wearing the One Love armband.

The 61-year-old former World Cup winner also lashed out at national coach Olivier Bierhoff: “He is of course responsible because he could not handle the pressure and unrest from outside. Not only him, but also the president and the people in charge of the DFB – they all let the coach and the team down.”

Matthaus also claimed that the German Football Association should take responsibility for the national team’s disastrous campaign, continuing: “I hope the DFB will speak honestly about their mistakes. I think of President Neuendorf criticizing everything here in Doha before the World Cup and then I see him sitting in the stands next to Gianni Infantino during the game and smiling at the camera for 3 minutes.”

“The players notice that, they are pressured to lead by example and protest, but then they see the people who demand it laughing for the camera.”

However, Matthaus has backed head coach Hansi Flick, saying the former Bayern Munich manager is the right person for the job despite the shock departure. He did say, however, that the team could have been better prepared, but also admitted that Flick should keep the lead until 2024.

The former Ballon D’Or winner said: “I hope the young players who were here will develop over the next 2 years. I also believe that Hansi Flick will be the coach at Euro 2024. “Hansi is self-confident and I am convinced that in 2024 we will see a team that will be assembled at an early stage and well trained.”

Photo credit: IMAGO / Ulmer/Teamfoto

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