FIFA charges Germany for no player at news conference
Germany's head coach Hansi Flick attends a news conference on the eve of the group E World Cup soccer match between Germany and Spain, in Doha, Qatar, Saturday, November 26, 2022. Germany will play the second match against Spain on Sunday, November 27. (AP Photo/Matthias Schrader)

DOHA, Qatar (AP) — Germany was charged in a disciplinary case by FIFA on Monday, though not for its players’ “hands covering mouths” protest before playing a World Cup game last week.

FIFA said it opened a case against the German soccer federation for not bringing players to its mandatory news conferences one day before each game.

Coach Hansi Flick appeared alone Saturday to meet international media in Doha ahead of the team playing Spain. He said he did not want to burden players ahead of such an important game, which Germany drew 1-1.

Germany chose a training camp furthest away from Doha, where most of the 32 teams are staying. The squad’s campo is located in a resort hotel on the northern tip of the peninsula about 110 kilometers (70 miles) from the capital.

FIFA gave no timetable for a judgment, which is likely to be a small fine.

The German federation has been critical of FIFA over its refusal to let some European teams wear a captain’s armband in Qatar supporting the “One Love” anti-discrimination campaign. It was aimed at drawing attention to the host nation’s record on human rights.

Germany’s players lined up for a team photo each with their right hand over their mouth before the 2-1 loss to Japan last Wednesday.

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