FIFA World Cup: We will not use excuses
Hansi Flick on Wednesday denied that Germany’s pre-match protest and legal action against FIFA had distracted his team after they suffered a shock 2-1 defeat. Globalism Opening cup against Japan.
“No. We’re not going to resort to using excuses. That would be too easy for us,” said Flick when asked if his players had lost focus after discussing the rainbow ‘OneLove’ badge that dominated Germany’s opening game lead.
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Germany was one of seven European nations that decided on Monday that its captains would no longer wear the armband in support of LGBT people, after pressure from soccer’s world governing body FIFA and threats of on-pitch sanctions.
Just 24 hours before kick-off, the German Football Association (DFB) filed a case with the Court of Arbitration for Sport, hoping to overturn the ban, saying “FIFA prohibited us from using the symbol of diversity and human rights”.
While Neuer did not wear the captaincy for Wednesday’s game, every member of the starting line-up covered their mouths in the mandatory pre-match photograph, with the DFB issuing a concurrent statement saying “to deny us the captaincy is the same as to deny us the voice”.
Flick doubled down on the importance of the pre-match gesture, telling the media that “it was a signal from the players and from us that FIFA is putting us under pressure”.
– ‘The right thing to do’ –
German striker Kai Havertz supported his team’s decision to protest, saying after the match that “it was the right thing to do”.
“Of course, it’s important for us to make a statement like that,” said the Chelsea striker.
“I think we talked about the game, what we can do.
“I think it was the right thing to do, to show people that we tried to help where we could and that FIFA makes it not easy for us.”
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Flick sought to shift focus to his team’s lack of competence, while praising Japan’s efforts.
“Japan has a great team. They are well put together, technically strong, tactically good. They brought their strength to the game and played more efficiently.
There will be no attempts (of us) to find excuses. We were not efficient enough and in the end we made several mistakes.”
The manager denied that the ghosts of 2018 haunted the team when they were knocked out of the World Cup in the group stage for the first time in 80 years.
“I’m not interested in the 2018 comparisons because we need to look forward.
“We can – and must – do better.”
Germany Flick face Spain on Sunday and will need at least a point to ensure they avoid another straight sets exit.
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