The German national team has been slammed by a number of football fans attending the ongoing 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar. Members of Die Mannschaft have been branded hypocrites after their protest against FIFA for banning the "One Love" captain's armband.

During Germany's 1-1 draw against Spain on Monday night, some fans in the stands could be seen holding former Germany international Mesut Ozil's picture while closing their mouths. It was in reference to Hansi Flick's team posing for a team photo for their opening game with hands over their mouth.

The Germans were protesting against FIFA's decision to ban European teams from donning the "One Love" arm band during games to campaign for LGBTQIA+ rights in Qatar. The German Football Federation stated: "Human rights are non-negotiable. Denying us the armband is the same as denying us a voice."

At the time, it was seen as a powerful statement despite all teams bowing down to FIFA's demands. Fans criticised teams for not taking a stronger stance, but fans in Qatar, mainly the locals, have now turned against Germany for their alleged failure to address human rights issues elsewhere in the world.

Ozil's picture was brandished by a number of fans at the Al Bayt Stadium with the same "mouth closed" gesture the German players showcased. It was done in reference to the former Arsenal player's decision to quit the national team due to his Turkish roots.

"I will no longer be playing for Germany at international level whilst I have this feeling of racism and disrespect. I used to wear the German shirt with such pride and excitement, but now I don't," Ozil said in 2018 before quitting international football.

"When high-ranking DFB officials treat me as they did, disrespect my Turkish roots and selfishly turn me into political propaganda, then enough is enough."

Ozil's ire was not only at the German federation for their alleged discrimination, but also against the media, who treat players with dual nationality with a different yard stick. The former Arsenal midfielder has also been vocal about the persecution of Uighurs in China, but received no support from his national association at the time.

Meanwhile, the off-field distraction has not helped Germany's cause at the World Cup, with their place in the knockout rounds now at risk. Flick's team have to beat Costa Rica in their final group game and hope Spain beat Japan in order to qualify for the round of 16.

Mesut Ozil
Mesut Ozil - Getty