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Belgium Star After Germany Protest: We're Here To Play Football, Not Send A Political Message

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Germany's players sent a message to FIFA prior to their opening World Cup match against Japan on Wednesday.  

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The starters for Germany's squad covered their mouths for their team photo. 

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This was their way of protesting FIFA's decision to abandon the anti-discrimination OneLove initiative.

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"It was a sign from the team, from us, that FIFA is muzzling us," Germany coach Hansi Flick said following Wednesday's match.  

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Belgium captain Eden Hazard was asked to share his thoughts on Germany's protest. 

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He believes the national team would've been better off winning their match instead of sending a "political message" to FIFA.  

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"Yes but afterwards, they lost the match," Hazard said. "They would have been better off not doing it and winning. 

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"We're here to play football. I'm not here to pass on a political message, there are people who are better placed for that. We want to be concentrated on the football." 

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FIFA actually threatened team captains with a yellow card if they wore the OneLove armband on the field.  

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It's important to note that same-sex relationships are criminalized in Qatar. 

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That's why the OneLove initiative has been a controversial topic for the 2022 World Cup.  

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Germany will return to the pitch on Sunday to face Spain.