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German football federation to take legal action over Fifa’s OneLove armband ban

Move comes after supermarket chain cuts commercial ties with DFB in protest over row at World Cup

Germany’s football federation has said it plans legal steps against Fifa over its banning of OneLove rainbow armbands at the World Cup as it faced the humiliating decision by one of the country’s largest supermarket chains to cut its commercial ties over the row.

The DFB refused to let players in Qatar wear the armbands promoting diversity and inclusion after threats from the world football governing body to issue yellow cards to team captains, but faced a swift reaction, including from the supermarket chain REWE, which became the first sponsor to take direct action as it said it would drop its advertising campaign in protest at the decision.

The DFB’s spokesperson, Stefan Simon, confirmed to the tabloid Bild that it had lodged a case over legal validity of the decision at the international sport court, CAS, in Lausanne.

“Fifa has forbidden us from using a symbol of diversity and human rights. It said the ban would be linked to massive penalties (in the nature of) sporting sanctions without concretising exactly what it meant. The DFB is keen to clarify whether Fifa’s procedure is in fact legitimate,” he said.

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