PARIS (AP) — France’s sports minister has encouraged her country’s World Cup team to make a symbolic gesture in support of human rights, after FIFA’s clampdown on the “One Love” armband.
“Is there still a way our French team can continue to express its commitment to human rights? The answer is yes,” Amélie Oudéa-Castéra told French television channel Public Sénat. “The Germans showed it.”
Germany’s players covered their mouths for the team photo before their opening World Cup match on Wednesday. The gesture was a response to FIFA’s effective nixing of seven European teams’ plans to wear armbands that were seen as a rebuke to host nation Qatar and its human rights record.
French players will be “free to express themselves,” in the coming weeks, Oudéa-Castéra said. “They share these values too ... and it’s important that they represent them.”
Defending champion France beat Australia 4-1 in its first World Cup match on Tuesday. The team plays its next Group D match Saturday against Denmark.