‘We’re here to play football’: Eden Hazard criticises Germany World Cup protest

‘We’re here to play football’: Eden Hazard criticises Germany World Cup protest

Eden Hazard has criticised Germany’s protest against not being permitted to wear the OneLove armband, insisting “we’re here to play football”.

The German national team posed for their team photo while covering their mouths after Fifa’s ban, before suffering a shock World Cup defeat to Japan.

Seven European nations have supported the gesture but have been censored by the world’s governing body for the tournament in Qatar, where homosexuality is illegal.

Germany coach Hansi Flick said: “It was a sign, a message that we wanted to send out. We wanted to convey the message that Fifa is silencing us.”

But Hazard, who featured in Belgium’s 1-0 win over Canada, has criticised Germany and admits he was reluctant to participate due to the potential to earn a yellow card.

“Afterwards they lost the match,” Hazard told RMC Sport when asked about the German gesture. “They would have done better not to do it and to win.

“We are here to play football, I am not here to send a political message, people are better placed for that. We want to be focused on football.

Germany players cover their mouths as a protest against FIFA (PA Wire)
Germany players cover their mouths as a protest against FIFA (PA Wire)

“I’m not comfortable talking about it because I’m here to play football. We were banned for a bit… I didn’t want to start the match with a yellow card, it would have been annoying for the rest of the tournament.”