They all opted against wearing the armbands, but some have spoken out against FIFA’s stance — and none more vocally than Germany. After Wednesday’s match, a 2-1 upset to Japan, Germany’s Kai Havertz said the team felt that making a statement was important “to show the people that, yeah, we try to help whoever/however we can. And of course, FIFA makes it not easy for us.”

Fans back home have vociferously protested the Qatar World Cup, which has been marred by controversies over LGBTQ rights, migrant labor rights and more. Players have often been asked to comment on those controversies, so much so that midfielder Joshua Kimmich admitted Tuesday that his “childhood dream” of playing in World Cups had been tainted by them.

Germany’s soccer federation, the DFB, also said Tuesday that it would take FIFA to court over the global soccer governing body’s suppression of the “OneLove” armbands. The DFB confirmed that it had filed a complaint with the Court of Arbitration for Sport, and hoped to get a ruling that would allow Neuer to wear the armband during this World Cup.

A day later, German politician Nancy Faeser wore the armband to the game against Japan — where she’d been invited to sit next to FIFA president Gianni Infantino.

DOHA, QATAR - NOVEMBER 23: Germany players cover their mouths in protest as they pose for a team photo during the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 Group E match between Germany and Japan at Khalifa International Stadium on November 23, 2022 in Doha, Qatar. (Photo by Alex Livesey - Danehouse/Getty Images)
Germany players cover their mouths in protest as they pose for a team photo during ahead of Wednesday’s World Cup matchup versus Japan. (Photo by Alex Livesey – Danehouse/Getty Images)