Switzerland captain Granit Xhaka said on Wednesday his team did not need to copy Germany’s masked protest against FIFA’s stance on rainbow-themed arms.
Germany lined up for their team photo ahead of their 2-1 defeat to Japan, nodding after skipper Manuel Neuer abandoned plans to wear the ‘OneLove’ armband amid threats of on-field disciplinary action from FIFA.
“I don’t think we have to do anything as a Swiss team. We have to respect the rules and concentrate on our football, that’s all I want to do,” captain Xhaka told reporters ahead of Thursday’s Group G game against Cameroon.
“We are here to play football and not to teach anyone lessons.”
The Swiss were one of seven European teams whose captains had to wear an LGBTQ armband at the tournament in Qatar, where homosexuality is illegal.
Germany’s football association said on Tuesday it was reviewing the legality of FIFA’s threat, after some of its teams caught fire at home, for failing to take a stronger stance against FIFA.
Netherlands midfielder Davy Klaassen, whose country was one of seven to retreat, later praised the Germans for their protest.
“That’s a nice variation on the arm. It was a good way to do it,” he told reporters.
Klaassen’s team will play Ecuador in the second match of Group A on Thursday.
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