Ahead of their match against Japan at the World Cup in Qatar on Wednesday, players from the Germany squad gathered on the pitch and covered their mouths in protest.
Players were upset that football’s governing body FIFA had previously blocked the captains of several European teams from wearing armbands in support of the LGBTQ community.
“We wanted to use our captain’s armband to uphold the values we hold within the Germany national team: diversity and mutual respect. Together with other nations, we wanted our voice to be heard,” said the team in a statement posted on their official Twitter account.
“It wasn’t about making a political statement – human rights are non-negotiable. It should be taken for granted, but it still isn’t. That’s why this message is so important for us,” the team said. “To deny us the armband is to deny us a vote. We maintain our position.”