EDEN HAZARD has told Germany they should have focused on the football rather than “political messages” after they lost to Japan.
They were expressing how they felt silenced by Fifa after the governing body threatened the team with sporting sanctions if they wore the OneLove rainbow armband.
It drew praise from many across the footballing landscape – but Real Madrid star Hazard was not so impressed.
The Belgian said: “Germany’s gesture? They would’ve done better if they didn’t do it and tried to win.
“We’re here to play football, I’m not here to convey a political message.”
The results leaves Germany’s World Cup hopes in dire straits after just one game.
They had looked on course to get their campaign off to the perfect start when Ilkay Gundogan put them ahead from the spot.
But Hansi Flick’s side failed to take one of their umpteen chances to make the game safe.
And Japan made them pay twice late on in the final 15 minutes.
Most read in Football
Firstly, Ritsu Doan restored parity before ex-Arsenal striker Takuma Asano fired home the winner seven minutes from time.
It means Germany find themselves in a precarious situation ahead of their clash with Spain this weekend.
If they lose and Japan avoid defeat against Costa Rica, they’re OUT.