A video clip shared on social media appears to show the presenters on a Qatari television programme celebrating Germany’s exit from the 2022 World Cup while mocking the team’s stance on human rights.
In the clip, a series of presenters are seen waving goodbye to Germany while clamping hands over their mouths – a send-up of a gesture that the Germany team had made before their opening defeat by Japan on 23 November.
Germany had been planning to wear the OneLove armband in support of LGBTQ+ rights in Qatar until Fifa announced at the last moment that they would face sporting sanctions for doing so. Instead, the players posed with hands over their mouths to indicate they felt they had been silenced.
The German football association (DFB) initially indicated it might take legal action against Fifa over the issue, saying it was costing them domestic sponsorship. The supermarket chain REWE ended its ties with the DFB over the armband row.
Another video clip, which appeared to be filmed at the Al Bayt Stadium in Al Khor at the conclusion of Germany’s 4-2 victory over Costa Rica, seemed to show Germany fans being taunted with pictures of Mesut Özil. The outspoken player, who has Turkish roots, retired from international football in controversial circumstances in 2018, having appeared 92 times for the national team.
The former England striker Alan Shearer shared his joy at Germany’s exit in a rather less political way, posting a clip of himself enjoying uproarious laughter with fellow BBC TV presenters Gary Lineker and Micah Richards and the simple caption “Germany are out of the #FIFAWorldCup in the group stage!!”
The DFB will next week launch talks to identify the reasons for their second consecutive World Cup flop, as Germany prepares to host Euro 2024.