World Cup 2022: Japan stun Germany’s protests with comeback win

Key points
  • Germany’s players have kept their mouths shut in support of diversity and tolerance.
  • German Interior Minister Nancy Faeser wore the ‘One Love’ bracelet as she chatted with the FIFA president.
Late goals from Ritsu Doan and Takuma Asano gave Japan a remarkable 2-1 comeback win over Germany in the match. on Wednesday.
The four-time champions looked set to win with a penalty from Ilkay Gundogan but paid a fatal price for missed opportunities.

The shock result was a repeat of their World Cup 2018 nightmare when they lost their opening game to defending champions Mexico and after another defeat to South Korea saw them exit the group stage.

World Cup Germany in Japan in football

Japan celebrates after Takuma Asano’s goal during the World Cup Group E soccer match between Germany and Japan at the Khalifa International Stadium in Doha, Qatar, Wednesday, Nov. 23, 2022. Source: AAP / AP

“It’s very disappointing and disappointing,” Germany captain Manuel Neuer said.

“We made the opposition strong. The final push made the difference. The Japanese believed they could win, while we thought we could keep the lead.”

“Time to Dance”

Coach Hansi Flick said: “It’s a brutal disappointment. We’re upset to have lost the game because we had the chances. We have to look forward. We have a chance of six points.”
“I believe this is a historic moment, a historic victory,” said Japanese manager Hajime Moriyasu.

Japan’s Maya Yoshida said: “That’s the beauty of football, sometimes it happens! Now the spotlight is on us, it’s time to dance.”

Ahead of their match against Japan, the German players posed for a team photo with their hands over their mouths as the controversy over FIFA’s threat of sanctions over the “OneLove” armband continued.

All Germany players took part in the gesture in front of dozens of photographers on the pitch before kick-off after FIFA threatened seven European teams with sanctions if they wore the diversity and tolerance armband.

German Interior Minister Nancy Faeser, who sat next to FIFA President Gianni Infantino in the stands, wore the armband as she chatted with the manager.
She had previously criticized FIFA, saying the threat of sanctions was a mistake and not acceptable behaviour.

“It’s not right, how is the federation being put under pressure,” Ms Faeser said during a visit to a German FA event in Doha ahead of the match.

“In today’s world, it is incomprehensible that FIFA does not want people to stand openly for tolerance and against discrimination. It does not fit our time and it is not appropriate for people.”

A statement from the German Football Association (DFB) said: “We wanted to use our captain’s armband to take a stand for the values ​​we have in the German national team: diversity and mutual respect.” Along with other nations, we wanted our voice to be heard.

“This was not about making a political statement – human rights are non-negotiable. That should be taken for granted, but it still isn’t. That’s why this message is so important to us. Denying us the bracelet is the same as denying us a voice. We stand by our position.”

Homosexuality is illegal in Qatar.

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