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Rewe discontinues sponsorship ties with DFB over One Love armbands

The players coated their mouths while posing for formal pre-match photos conveying its disagreement with FIFA's stance

The supermarket chain, Rewe has announced that it has concluded its collaboration with the German Football Association (DFB) over the furore with the One Love campaign armbands at the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022.

Germany was one of seven European nations that agreed to have their skippers wear the multicoloured armbands as a respect for the LGBTQ+ community during the world championship, but all of them dropped out after FIFA challenged to issue yellow cards to players who wore them.

Rewe had already made the DFB aware that it would not extend its agreement after the World Cup but made clear that FIFA’s actions and statements by its president, Gianni Infantino, had urged the early discontinuation.

Rewe said in a statement, “The company sees itself called upon to clearly distance itself from FIFA’s position and to waive its advertising rights from the contract with the DFB – especially in the context of the World Cup.”

Lionel Souque, Chief Executive, Rewe Group, said, “For us, football means, among other things, fair play, tolerance and solidarity – we also uphold these values. We stand for diversity – and football is diversity too. We live this attitude and we defend this attitude – even against possible resistance. Fifa’s scandalous stance is totally unacceptable to me as the chief executive of a diverse company and as a football fan.”

Before their World Cup opener against Japan, the German national team voiced their displeasure with FIFA’s stance.

The players coated their mouths while posing for formal pre-match photos, prompting the DFB to publish a statement fairly soon after showcasing the image, conveying its disagreement with FIFA’s stance, “We wanted to use our captain’s armband to take a stand for values that we hold in the Germany national team: diversity and mutual respect. Together with other nations, we wanted our voice to be heard.

“It wasn’t about making a political statement – human rights are non-negotiable. That should be taken for granted, but it still isn’t the case. That’s why this message is so important to us. Denying us the armband is the same as denying us a voice. We stand by our position.”

A DFB spokesperson, Steffen Simon, commented, “FIFA has banned us from showing diversity and human rights. It combined this with massive threats of sporting sanctions without specifying them. The DFB is checking whether this action by FIFA was legal.”

The DFB is now considering legal action at the Court of Arbitration for Sport in response to FIFA’s stance on the One Love campaign.

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