Germany’s anti-homophobia stance was openly mocked on Qatari television after the four-time world champion’s stunning group stage exit, with the hosts covering their mouths and waving goodbye.
The Germans were sent off after finishing third behind Group E, despite beating Costa Rica 4-2 – with Japan, who beat Hansi Flick’s side in their opener, and Spain advancing.
Ahead of their previous loss to Japan, the German players staged a protest against FIFA’s ban on the OneLove rainbow armband.
On the eve of the World Cup, the game’s governing body threatened to book players – such as the seven European captains, including Germany’s Manuel Neuer – who planned to wear the OneLove armbands, which promote diversity and inclusiveness.
Same-sex relationships and the promotion of same-sex relationships are criminalized in Qatar, a Muslim-majority country with Islam as the state religion.
In protest, the Germans had covered their mouths – a reference to FIFA’s silence – for their pre-match photo before the game against Japan.
“Human rights are not negotiable,” the German federation said in a statement at the time.
“It should be taken for granted, but it still isn’t. This is why this message is so important to us.
“To deny us the armband is to deny us a voice. We maintain our position.
And local TV presenters did not let Germany’s actions be forgotten, mimicking their mouths covered as they laughed and waved goodbye on a post-match show once their exit from the group stage was confirmed.