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German federation won’t take action over anti-Qatar banner

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The German soccer federation will not take any action against individuals who unfurled a banner calling for a boycott of the World Cup in Qatar during the national team ‘s Nations League match against Italy .

The DFB (acronym in German for the federation) took refuge in a police statement issued on Wednesday that indicates that what was done by the protesters is protected by freedom of expression and “no relevant crime was committed.”

Shortly after the start of the match on Tuesday, the group of protesters unfurled a huge banner with the phrase: “15,000 dead for large stadiums — FIFA and company have no conscience! Boycott Qatar.”

The group proceeded to leave the stadium, raising suspicions that they were currently unlawful and planning other acts, the Mönchengladbach police said in their statement.

After being alerted by security employees at the stadium, police stopped the protesters outside and asked them to show their personal identification in case the federation files a complaint, police said.

“After that, everyone was released,” the police said. “After further consultation, the DFB informed the Mönchengladbach police that the DFB would not take any action and that personal information would not be published. The Mönchengladbach police did not take any action either.” .

Germany won the match 5-2.

Banners against the World Cup in Qatar — a nation criticized for its human rights record — have been a regular occurrence in German soccer.

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