After the withdrawal of the sponsor Rewe, the German Football Association (DFB) decided to change its advertising board in Qatar. Instead of the Rewe logo, the “One Love” symbol, which was much discussed at the World Cup in Qatar, can now be seen.
The billboard is located in the Germany national team’s World Cup media center in Al-Shamal, where the daily press conferences by players and coaches take place. The “Bild” newspaper was the first to report on the DFB’s change plans.
“Due to a partner’s decision to forego advertising six weeks before the actual end of the contract, the DFB was given the opportunity to express its position with the “One Love” message, including at the almost daily press conferences in Qatar,” explained the association opposite the “image”.
The retail company Rewe withdrew from its cooperation with the DFB on Tuesday with immediate effect. The background to this is FIFA’s ban on wearing a captain’s armband with the words “One Love” on it.
“For me, as the CEO of a diverse company and as a football fan, Fifa’s scandalous attitude is absolutely unacceptable,” said Rewe boss Lionel Souque.
Shortly before the national team’s first game on Wednesday, the German Football Association decided to bow to Fifa’s specifications.
With the so-called “One Love” armband, a total of seven national teams wanted to send a signal against homophobia and discrimination. The armband shows a heart in bright rainbow colors, which is supposed to stand for diversity and openness, with the words “One Love” underneath it.
Starting today, rainbow colors are allowed in the stadium
The World Football Association, however, relies on the so-called Fifa equipment regulations, according to which the captain’s armband provided by Fifa must be worn at finals. All teams officially agreed to these rules. As a punishment for wearing the “One Love” bandage, Fifa threatened a yellow card as the minimum penalty, said DFB President Bernd Neuendorf in the “Sportschau”.
The security forces in Qatar have also been required to take clothing or promotional items in rainbow colors from fans. But according to media reports, such symbols of support should be allowed in the stadium from today.
Criticism of Fifa’s “One Love” decision came from many quarters. Federal Minister of the Interior Nancy Faeser (SPD) demonstratively wore the “One Love” armband in the stands at the game of the German national team.
With the exception of the Rewe Group, all DFB sponsors continued their cooperation. However, the contract with the retail company would have expired at the end of the year anyway.
World Cup host country Qatar has a generally restrictive stance towards the LGBTIQ+ community. Before the soccer World Cup, the human rights organization Human Rights Watch reported that queer people were being monitored online. The organization also accuses the regime of mistreatment. (with dpa)
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