- Eden Hazard has called out Germany, following the covering of their mouths during the team photo as a symbol of being silenced by FIFA
- The Belgium captain argued the 2014 World Cup winners should have focused on football instead of dabbling in sending 'political messages'
- Unfortunately for Germany, their symbolic gesture did not translate into the expected result as Japan shocked them with a 2-1 comeback win
Eden Hazard has taken a swipe at Germany, following their decision to protest FIFA's 'OneLove' armband ban.
Germany protested FIFA's decision to ban them from wearing the LGBTQ+ inclusive armband in their World Cup opener against Japan, by holding a hand over their mouth in the team photo.
Despite their symbolic gesture of being silenced by the powers that be, the four-time world champions fell to a shock 2-1 defeat to the Samurai Blue on Wednesday, November 23.
Reflecting on Germany's stuttering start to the Mundial in Qatar, Hazard reasoned that the 2014 world champions should have adhered to their primary role as footballers, given that they suffered one of the major upsets of the tournament, ESPN reports.
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"They'd have done better not to do it [the protest] and to win instead," Hazard claimed as quoted by GOAL.
"We are here to play football. I'm not here to send a political message. Other people are better placed for that. We want to be focused on football."
Meanwhile, Hazard captained Belgium to a winning start to the competition, as Michy Batshuayi's solitary strike was enough as the Red Devils edged out Canada in their opening group game.
Germany stage protest against FIFA
The German national team have taken a stand against the world football governing body, over FIFA's recent decisions.
FIFA banned teams from using the rainbow-coloured OneLove armbands during World Cup games, threatening captains and teams with sanctions if they did so.
Teams like Germany, England and Denmark were just some European sides planning to wear the armbands during their team games.
World Cup: Japan floors Germany
Earlier, Sports Brief reported that Japan stunned Germany 2-1 in their World Cup opener on Wednesday, punishing the four-time champions for not taking their chances.
The German team covered their mouths for the team photo before the match, in a powerful protest against FIFA's decision to ban rainbow-themed armbands and kit.
Hansi Flick's team came to Qatar under huge pressure to avoid the disaster of 2018, when they failed to make it out of the group stage in Russia while defending their titles.