Belgium's Hazard to Germany: Focus on football

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Ogden: FIFA person backed Football Associations into a country (1:58)

Mark Ogden reacts to the quality that players won't deterioration the OneLove armband aft FIFA confirmed sanctions would beryllium taken against a subordinate for wearing one. (1:58)

Belgium skipper Eden Hazard has said players should "concentrate connected the football" aft Germany covered their mouths successful protest astatine FIFA implicit its effect to the OneLove campaign.

Germany performed the motion arsenic they lined up for a squad photograph earlier their daze 2-1 nonaccomplishment against Japan successful their World Cup opener, with their manager Hansi Flick saying it was a mode of showing "FIFA is muzzling us."

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Belgium, Germany and 5 different European teams abandoned the anti-discrimination OneLove initiative earlier this week aft players were threatened with sanctions if they wore the rainbow armband.

Speaking aft his side's 1-0 triumph against Canada connected Wednesday, however, Hazard said it would person been amended if Flick's broadside had not made a basal and won their game.

"Yes but afterwards, they mislaid the match," Hazard said, erstwhile asked for his thoughts connected the gesture. "They would person been amended disconnected not doing it and winning.

"We're present to play football. I'm not present to walk connected a governmental message, determination are radical who are amended placed for that.

"We privation to beryllium concentrated connected the football."

FIFA threatened squad captains with a yellowish paper if they wore the OneLove armband, but Hazard admitted helium mightiness person reconsidered his presumption successful antithetic circumstances.

"I'm not astatine easiness talking astir it due to the fact that I'm present to play football," Hazard said.

"We were benignant of forbidden from... I didn't privation to commencement the lucifer with a yellowish card, it would person been annoying for the remainder of the tournament.

"If I were to redo it, possibly I would deterioration it again."

Homosexuality is amerciable successful Qatar portion it was described arsenic "damage successful the mind" by 1 tourney ambassador earlier the finals began successful the Gulf authorities this month.

The tourney has proved highly controversial, with FIFA president Gianni Infantino giving an extraordinary opening address successful which helium criticised European nations' presumption of the finals.

Before the World Cup, Infantino wrote a missive to the 32 nations participating to inquire them to "focus connected the football" alternatively than getting dragged into governmental debates.

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