Belgium were among the teams that planned to wear the 'OneLove' captain's armband as a mark of protest against Qatar's poor track record of LGBTQIA+ rights. However, the Belgian Red Devils abandoned the gesture after FIFA warned that players wearing it would be sanctioned with a warning.
No team has worn the specialized armband in the competition as of now, with England, Wales, Denmark, the Netherlands and Switzerland all abandoning their stance. However, Germany found a way to make a statement ahead of their game against Japan.
Their 11 starting players all posed for the team photo with a hand over their mouths, signifying the way they were kept from expressing their opinion by FIFA. The Germans went on to lose 2-1 to Japan on 23 November despite taking the lead in the 33rd minute via an Ilkay Gundogan penalty kick.
Second-half goals from Ritsu Doan and Takuma Asano were enough to hand the Samurai Blue an iconic win.
"Yes, but afterwards they lost the match. They would have done better not to do it and to win. We are here to play football, I am not here to send a political message. People are better placed for that. We want to be focused on football."
Belgium, meanwhile, won their 2022 FIFA World Cup group-stage opener against Canada by a 1-0 scoreline on 23 November.
Belgium captain explains his OneLove armband stance at 2022 FIFA World Cup
Speaking in the same interview, Hazard provided his own reasons for snubbing the 'OneLove' armband at the 2022 FIFA World Cup.
The Belgium winger said he did not want to start the match with a yellow card. It has been said that any player wearing the specific armband will be booked before kick-off. Hazard explained:
"I'm not comfortable talking about it because I'm here to play football. We were banned for a bit… I didn't want to start the match with a yellow card, it would have been annoying for the rest of the tournament. To do it again, maybe I will postpone it."
Hazard will hope to start for Belgium in their next 2022 FIFA World Cup group stage game when they face Morocco on 27 November.