February 7, 2023

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TV experts from Qatar mock Germany’s “OneLove” bracelet protest after the World Cup

Eureka News Now —

Football experts from the Qatari broadcaster Alkass Sports mocked the German football team after their World Cup failure – by imitating the players’ protest against human rights.

A video posted to the channel’s Twitter page on Thursday shows former Kuwaiti footballer Jamal Mubarak covering his mouth with his left hand and waving goodbye with his right, then urging former Egyptian goalkeeper and fellow analyst Essam El-Hadary to come down join him.

Soon after, El-Hadary and other experts cover their mouths and wave goodbye – apparently to celebrate Germany’s exit.

The gesture mimics what the German players did to protest FIFA’s decision to ban the “OneLove” armband that many European captains wanted to wear in Qatar in support of LGBTQ rights.

Ahead of Germany’s national team’s first game on November 23, the side’s starting XI posed with their right hand over their mouth in a gesture against what they saw as a crackdown on freedom of expression.

Germany lost that game to Japan in a shocking upset. A subsequent win against Costa Rica on Thursday was not enough for Germany to advance from the group stage to the round of 16.

“Thank God today all Arab and Muslim nations are (praying) praying for Japan to qualify with every team, but the most important thing is Germany’s exit,” Mubarak said on Alkass Sports channel.

The segment aired on the channel’s al-Majlis show, which was hosted by Qatari presenter Khalid Jassem and featured Arab football analysts including Mubarak, El-Hadary and former Iraqi player Younis Mahmoud.

Following Germany’s 1-1 draw with Spain last Sunday, Jassem said in an al-Majlis episode that he was “shocked” by Germany’s protest.

“You [Germany] should respect our customs, traditions, culture and religion as much as we respect your customs, traditions and culture,” Jassem said. “When we go to Germany or other places, we respect the rules and laws and respect everything that is close to the heart of the society there.”

In a series of tweets over the past week, the German Football Association took a stand on the protest, saying: “It wasn’t about making a political statement – human rights are non-negotiable. That should go without saying, but it isn’t yet. That is why this message is so important to us. Denying us an armband is like denying us a vote.”

Ahead of the tournament, captains from England, Wales, Belgium, the Netherlands, Switzerland, Germany and Denmark had planned to wear the armbands – which feature a striped heart of different colors to represent all races, backgrounds, genders and sexual identities – before FIFA warned players could receive a yellow card in this case.

Ahead of the World Cup, host country Qatar – where homosexuality is illegal and carries a penalty of up to three years in prison – has come under fire for its stance on LGBTQ rights.

However, the country has insisted that “everyone is welcome” at the tournament, adding in a statement to Eureka News Now this month that “our track record has shown that we have given all people a warm welcome, regardless of their background”.

FIFA’s decision to sanction players for wearing the ‘OneLove’ armband has nonetheless sparked anger as the Football Supporters’ Association, which represents football supporters in England and Wales, said it felt ‘cheated’.

“Since 2010 we have been asking questions about Qatar’s suitability to host the World Cup,” the FSA said in a statement.