Ermany Ilkay Gundogan says “politics is over” for his side in Qatar after they failed to repeat their on-pitch protest ahead of yesterday’s 1-1 World Cup draw with Spain.
Germany’s players covered their mouths ahead of their defeat by Japan in protest at FIFA’s ‘silence’ – after the governing body threatened to sanction players who wore a rainbow ‘OneLove’ armband.
The German FA are considering legal action against FIFA, but Gundogan says it is time for the team to focus on football, with Die Mannschaft needing to beat Costa Rica in their final group game to have any hope of elimination.
“We had a few players who were angry with FIFA because of course the team planned things,” Gundogan said at the Al Bayt Stadium.
“[The armband] After the ban just before the match, several players were disappointed and frustrated and wanted to show something.
“We had a discussion in the team and in the end it was decided to make this gesture against FIFA. When you do something, you do it as a team.”
“Frankly, my view is that politics is done now.”
Qatar supporters in the crowd last night held up pictures of Mesut Özil, the former Germany international, during the match to accuse the German team of hypocrisy.
Ozil, a Turkish-German Muslim, quit the national team after the 2018 World Cup, accusing the federation of racism.
Gundogan added: “We are here now and I think Qatar is very proud. The country of Qatar is very proud to host the World Cup – also the first Muslim country, and I come from a Muslim family, so the Muslim community is proud.
“Now it’s just about football – enjoying and celebrating – so that’s the most important thing.”
Substitute Alvaro Morata fired Spain in front just after the hour, but Germany’s own No.9 Niclas Fullkrug also came off the bench to score a valuable equaliser.
Germany’s hopes of reaching the last 16 were given an unlikely lifeline earlier when Costa Rica beat Japan, but they still need to win their final group game and hope Japan don’t pull off another shock against Spain.
On the morning of the match, Spain head coach Luis Enrique revealed on social media that the game would have special significance as it would have been the 13th birthday of his daughter Xana, who died of cancer in 2019.
“It was a very special day for me and my family,” the 52-year-old said afterwards. “For a long time we tried to live the situation normally. Our daughter is no longer with us, but she lives with us every day.”
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