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Germany players protest against Qatar’s human rights record

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The Germans followed Norway’s example by making their stance known in the opening game of their World Cup qualifying campaign.

Germany’s players donned custom-made black shirts with one different letter in white on each one, which spelled out “Human rights” together.

The four-time world champions wore these T-shirts before kick-off began in the first match of their 2022 World Cup qualifying against Iceland on Thursday at the MSV-Arena in Duisburg.

It was the home side’s way of promoting their stance against World Cup hosts Qatar’s reported violations against migrants in the Gulf nation.

According to The Guardian earlier this year, over 6,500 migrant workers have died since 2010.

Germany’s actions came a day after the Norwegian national team’s players wore their own T-shirts bearing the message: “Human rights on and off the pitch”.

The Scandinavian outfit will not face any punishment from FIFA, who support “the freedom of speech, and in the power of football as a force for good”.

“We have the World Cup coming up and there will be discussions about it,” said midfielder Leon Goretzka after helping Germany defeat Iceland 3-0.

“We wanted to show we are not ignoring that. We have a large reach and we can use it to set an example for the values we want to stand for.”

Goretzka, Kai Havertz, and Ilkay Gundogan were the scorers to help Germany embark on a winning start in Group J by beating Iceland 3-0.

The 2022 World Cup takes place in Qatar on November 21 next year.