Doha: Germany vs Japan match wasn’t just an upset, it was indeed a lesson. Football has continued to change people’s lives since the dawn of the 20th century. It can be an instrumental part of how history has played out. Somewhere along the lines, we the fans restrict Football to a mere sport when it’s more than that.
There are three factors that we can take away from Germany vs Japan encounter. The first is “If there’s a will, there is a way”. The Germans alongside other associations planned to wear #OneLove armbands in support of the homosexual and LGBTQIA community who are tortured and deemed criminal in Qatar. Later on, FIFA intervened asking these associations not to wear the band and placing stipulations if they chose to refuse the order. Although The associations decided to not do the armband, Germany knew that they had to do something. If your voice is silenced, you raise your voice louder than the frustrations of the hand placed on you. The Germans placed their hands in a way of feeling astounded and annoyed over their mouths.
“Karma is Real,” said some trolls afterward Germany’s failure. These posts stated that Germany lost because it disrespected a country’s culture. The German board might never comment but a country’s culture should not teach one not to love whom one want. Or how to dress? Is anti-humanity the culture?
Secondly, The way the German minister wore the band. It was the players who couldn’t wear the armband, not her. She proudly wore the #OneLove armband on her sleeves while sitting beside Gianni Infantino. She engaged the stadium and the people whom she met in a bold way. like her country’s national team understood the importance of raising the voice of many millions in their home nation. They understood the pain of not being accepted and took measures to change it. Yes, it is not much but at least it’s something.
Last but not least, Japanese Fans. The fans of Nippon stayed back and cleaned the stadium before they winded up. The Japanese Fans set an example for all the matches, not just soccer but the whole sporting spectrum. Usually, after a winning match, fans go out partying or having fun to celebrate their team’s win, but not Nippon fans. Amid the victory, the people from the Land of Rising Sun stayed humble in their roots. This is not the first time, Japanese fans are spotted clearing up trash post-match.
Football is a celebration of talent, diversity, of sport. Football is a voice for the silenced people. The Iranian’s act of silence during the anthem highlighted the protests in Iran, the misogyny, and captivity. Denmark’s jersey is a call to Qatar to correct their human rights. Football has a long way to go. Seeing all that happened so far, I hope just like Brew Dog does. Russia and Qatar are homophobic nations, the latter known to be misogynistic in addition. Football should be more than a sport, it should be a voice for the silenced.