Hansi Flick has urged the German players to “concentrate on football” after a World Cup in which his side engaged in one of the more memorable protests against Qatar.
The German team made headlines as they posed for a pre-match photo with their hands covering their mouths, implying they had been silenced by FIFA, who threatened sporting sanctions for wearing a rainbow armband.
That led Arsene Wenger, mouthpiece of FIFA, to suggest their actions led to their elimination from the tournament.
Wenger believes Germany were not “mentally ready” for the competition as they were instead focused on “political demonstrations”.
“You know when you go to a World Cup, you know you can’t lose the first game. The teams who have the experience to perform in tournaments like France and England played well in the first game,” Wenger said.
“The teams who were mentally ready, with a mindset to focus on competition, and not the political demonstrations.”
And Germany boss Flick appears now to agree with Wenger, and French president Emmanuel Macron.
Flick told TZ: “French President Emmanuel Macron said: ‘Football is too politicised, our players should concentrate on football, I do politics.’ That would have been a good thing for us, for politics, other people have been trained.
“The mood against Qatar was incredibly strong beforehand. Many watched the games, many others had concerns. The country was divided, and that’s a shame, football is supposed to unite.”
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The irony of Macron claiming footballers should stick to football as a politician front and centre at a football match was clearly lost on Flick, who also appears to have missed the point that it was impossible for football to “unite” everyone at the World Cup as LGBTQ+ fans cannot live like others in Qatar.
Germany crashed out of the tournament in Qatar at the first hurdle after suffering a surprise defeat to Japan and failing to beat Spain.
That left many to believe Flick may leave his post or be fired, but it was revealed last week that he will stay on as Germany boss for Euro 2024.