In response to Germany’s World Cup protest, Qatari football fans on Sunday covered their mouths while holding posters of former Germany player Mesut Ozil during the game against Spain.
Some fans displayed hand-drawn portraits of Ozil, while others displayed images of him playing for Germany.
Germany’s team covered their mouths in their first World Cup game to protest FIFA’s banning the “One Love” LGBT solidarity armbands.
Captains of several European teams had planned to wear the armbands, but dropped the gesture after FIFA announced that players would receive a yellow card for the political gesture.
Ozil, a child of Turkish immigrants who was born in Germany, charged the nation’s football federation, supporters, and media with racism in their treatment of persons of Turkish ancestry.
“I am German when we win, but I am an immigrant when we lose,” Ozil said at the time.
The harassment when Ozil and Germany teammate Ilkay Gündogan posed for pictures with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. Following this, German fans began to hurl insults at him during a 2018 World Cup game.
After the competition, the abuse of Ozil grew, helped by remarks from Germany team manager Oliver Bierhoff, who suggested that the midfielder could have been left out of the German squad.
Later, german football association head Reinhard Grindel that he ought to have supported Ozil more.
Gündogan, who still plays for the national team, said after Sunday’s 1-1 draw with Span that going forward, he only intended to concentrate on playing football.
“Honestly, my point of view is: now the politics are finished,” Gündogan said. “The country of Qatar is very proud to host the World Cup, also the first Muslim country, and I come from a Muslim family. So the Muslim community is proud. So I think now it’s just about football.”