December 04, (THEWILL) – Germany’s decision to participate in “political demonstrations” in Qatar may have contributed to their early exit from the World Cup in the opinion of Arsene Wenger.
As THEWILL reported, Germany failed to bounce back from a shock 2-1 loss to the Samurai Blue on matchday one, falling to a second consecutive group-stage departure as Japan and Spain advanced from Group E.
Prior to that first match, Germany’s players protested FIFA’s decision to forbid captain Manuel Neuer from donning the OneLove armband, which was meant to spread an anti-discriminatory message in Qatar, where homosexuality is prohibited, by covering their mouths during a team photo.
While the team stated that “denying us the armband is the same as denying us a voice” some, most notably Belgium winger Eden Hazard, believed it was distracting the Germany’s players from football. Wenger has sided with that suggestion, and the head of FIFA’s technical study group for the competition said: “When you go to a World Cup, you know you can’t lose the first game.
“The teams who have the experience to perform in tournaments like France and England played well in the first game. The teams who were mentally ready, with a mindset to focus on competition, and not the political demonstrations.”