Hazard aims sly dig at Germany after WC protest?

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Eden Hazard
Eden Hazard

Belgium star Eden Hazard has seemingly aimed a sly dig at Germany after their surprise defeat to Japan on Wednesday afternoon. 

Hansi Flick's side were dealt an early blow in their hopes of qualifying for the knockout rounds of the 2022 FIFA World Cup when the Asian nation completed a stunning 2-1 comeback win over them courtesy of goals from Ritsu Doan and former Arsenal star Takuma Asano goals.

Read: Belgium squeeze past spirited Canada

Germany caused a stir prior to kick-off when they took their team photo, during which all 11 players covered their mouths in protest after they were denied the chance to wear the "One Love" armband, used to promote diversity and inclusivity.

Although the armband was banned, many players chose to wear rainbow laces instead in an attempt to highlight the issue of gay rights.

Being homosexual is illegal in Qatar, and the nation recently requested that everyone respect their country's rules.

Hazard has since commented on the silent protest from the European nation, joking that if they did not do it, they might have beaten the Japanese.

"I liked it, but afterwards they lost the match," the 31-year-old said, per 2 Sport

"They should have dropped the mark [protest] and won the match (laughs)!

"I am not here to convey a political message. 

"There are people who are better placed than me for that."

Hazard also elaborated on FIFA's decision to refuse the armband to be on display without punishment. 

"A lot has been said," the Real Madrid winger added.

"I'm not comfortable talking about it. 

"I'm here to play football. 

"But we were refused to do so [wear the armband]. I didn't want to start the game with a yellow card.

"It would have been problematic for the continuation of the tournament.

"That's why I chose not to go with it, but if I could choose again, I probably would have worn it anyway."

Read: Drogba: Why African teams struggle at World Cups

With Germany looking to avoid the disaster of Russia 2018, when they failed to make it out of the group stage as the reigning champions, their next Group E match is against Spain on Sunday. 

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