Germany's players covered their mouths for a team photo before their first World Cup match, an apparent protest against FIFA's ban on wearing armbands to protest discrimination in host nation Qatar.

The team lined up in the traditional formation before Wednesday's game against Japan and each of the 11 players covered their mouth with their right hand.

This appeared to be in response to FIFA warning seven European confederations, including Germany, that players wearing colorful 'One Love' armbands as a symbol of inclusion and diversity would be punished. .

The seven team captains had planned to wear the armbands.

Qatar has been under scrutiny for its human rights record and laws criminalizing homosexuality.