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Prior to their opening match against Japan in the 2022 FIFA World Cup, only three Germany stars reportedly supported the hand-on-mouth gesture.

According to ARD via BILD, only Manuel Neuer and Leon Goretzka were in favor of Germany’s decision to cover their mouth ahead of the 2022 FIFA World Cup clash against Japan. The team went ahead after getting the backing from a third star, Joshua Kimmich.

Hansi Flick’s side displayed their protest against FIFA for not letting teams wear the “One Love” armband by covering their mouth ahead of the game against Japan.

The European heavyweights lost the game by a scoreline of 2-1 despite taking the lead in the first half.

Die Mannschaft failed to proceed to the knockout stages of the tournament. They drew their second game against Spain and won the last group game against Costa Rica. Despite being level on points with Spain, the Germans had an inferior goal difference and were knocked out.


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Germany legend Lothar Matthaus criticized the German FA and Oliver Bierhoff for the team’s failure at the 2022 FIFA World Cup, Matthaus said (via World Soccer Talk):

“He is of course responsible because he couldn’t handle the pressure and unrest from the outside. Not only him, but the president and the people in charge at the DFB – they all let the coach and the team down. I hope the DFB will speak honestly about their mistakes. I think of President Neuendorf, who criticized everything here in Doha before the World Cup and then I see him during the game sitting in the stands next to Gianni Infantino and smiling at the camera for 3 minutes.”

Lothar Matthaus: “Oliver Bierhoff must provide answers about the current situation. He has to ask himself because the national team’s conditions are not good on and off the field” ⤵️

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He added:

“The players notice that, they’re put under pressure to set an example and protest, but then they see the people who are demanding it smiling in front of the camera.”

Germany legend Lothar Matthaus backed Hansi Flick despite 2022 FIFA World Cup failure

Costa Rica v Germany: Group E - FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022
Costa Rica v Germany: Group E – FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022

Despite Germany’s dismal performance in the 2022 FIFA World Cup, Lothar Matthaus backed Hansi Flick to stay in charge of the team until the Euro 2024. The legendary footballer said:

“I hope the young players who were here will develop more in the next 2 years. I also believe that Hansi Flick will be the coach at Euro 2024. Hansi is self-conscious, and I am convinced that for 2024 we’ll see a team that will be put together and well-drilled early on.”

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