February 3, 2023

Money News PH

The Premier Blog Where Money Talks

World Cup 2022: Fifa’s Arsene Wenger criticizes the performance of protesting nations

Host Country: Qatar Dates: 20 November to 18 December Coverage: Live on BBC TV, BBC iPlayer, BBC Radio 5 Live, BBC Sounds and the BBC Sport website and app. Daily TV Listings – Full Coverage Details

Arsene Wenger has suggested that countries that protested against the World Cup saw their on-field performances suffer.

Germany’s players covered their mouths ahead of their opening loss to Japan after Fifa threatened “unlimited” sanctions against players who wore the anti-discrimination OneLove armband.

“The teams [who performed well] were mentally ready,” said Wenger.

“They had an attitude of focusing on competition and not on political demonstrations.”

Former Arsenal manager Wenger, Fifa’s head of global football development, spoke at a media briefing on Sunday.

The German Football Association was the loudest in pushing for the OneLove armbands to be worn by players, saying “extreme blackmail” had led to Germany, Denmark, Belgium, the Netherlands, Wales, England and Switzerland abandoning their plans to wear them.

Protests have taken place against host country Qatar’s human rights record and its treatment of migrant workers, as well as against Qatar’s tough anti-LGBT laws.

England, who have progressed through the group stage with two wins and one draw, have taken their knees before each of their games, continuing a trend of performing the anti-racism gesture before their games since the death of George Floyd in 2020.

Four-time winners Germany were eliminated from the tournament for the second consecutive year in the group stage.

Denmark, who finished bottom of Group D, were barred by Fifa from using training gear with slogans supporting human rights and their kit featured toned-down logos.

UK Sport Minister Stuart Andrew wore the OneLove armband during England’s World Cup match against Wales.

That comes after Qatar World Cup chief Hassan Al-Thawadi said the armbands would send a “divisive message”.

The Football Association’s chief executive, Mark Bullingham, said Fifa had threatened “unlimited” sanctions against players who wore the armband during matches.