Gundogan explains why Germany didn't repeat mouth covering gesture against Spain

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Ilkay Gundogan Germany 2022
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Ilkay Gundogan reveals that Germany decided not to protest before their match against Spain as his side wanted to focus on matters on the pitch.
  • Germany protested before Japan game
  • Didn't repeat gesture against Spain
  • Gundogan feels "politics is finished" for his side

WHAT HAPPENED? Germany made a statement to FIFA ahead of their group opener against Japan by posing for the pre-match photo with each player covering their mouths in response to football's governing body banning them and six other nations from wearing the LGBTQ+ inclusive 'OneLove' armband. However, Gundogan revealed why his side decided to change their approach before Sunday's crunch match against Spain.

WHAT THEY SAID: “We had a few players who were mad with FIFA, because obviously there were things planned from the team,” Gundogan said at a press conference. "We had the discussion in the team and at the end it got decided that we’ll do this gesture against FIFA. If you do something, you do it as a team. Honestly, my point of view is now the politics are finished. Now it’s just about football – enjoying and celebrating – so that’s the most important thing.”

THE BIGGER PICTURE: Gundogan's explanation appears to echo criticisms aimed towards the Germans by Eden Hazard, who suggested they shouldn't have protested after their group opener ended in a shock defeat to Japan. Hazard and Belgium then went on to lose to Morocco themselves despite their lack of protest against FIFA, meanwhile the German Football Association (DFB) are considering legal against against football's governing body for their 'OneLove' armband U-turn.

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Germany Japan 2022-23

Germany Spain World Cup 2022

Ilkay Gundogan Germany 2022

DID YOU KNOW? Gundogan, who was on the scoresheet in Germany's opener, has scored nine goals in 22 appearances for Die Mannschaft since the start of 2021, after scoring eight goals in 42 games for the national side between 2011 and 2020.

WHAT NEXT FOR GERMANY? With just a point on the board and sitting bottom of Group E, Germany need a win against Costa Rica in their final match to be in with a chance of qualification to the last 16.