The retail giant Rewe ended its long sponsorship of Germany’s soccer federation on Tuesday in protest of FIFA’s decision to prevent several European teams, including Germany, from wearing rainbow-colored armbands at the World Cup.
On Monday, FIFA, world soccer’s global governing body, threatened to issue a yellow card to any player who wears a rainbow armband at the tournament. That scuttled a plan by at least seven European nations to wear versions with the phrase “One Love” during the tournament. The armbands were meant to be a show of support for minority groups amid continuing concerns about the treatment of the L.G.B.T.Q. community in Qatar, where homosexuality is a crime.
FIFA, however, said the armbands violated its strict uniform rules for the tournament and would lead to discipline, and the national teams quickly backed down. Rather than risk in-game punishments for valuable players, the teams said, they had asked their captains not to wear the armbands at all.
A day later, Rewe, a partner of Germany’s federation since 2008, said it no longer wanted to be associated with FIFA after its decision.
“We stand for diversity — and football is diversity too,” Rewe’s chief executive, Lionel Souque, said in comments reported by Der Spiegel. “FIFA’s scandalous attitude is absolutely unacceptable for me as the C.E.O. of a diverse company and as a football fan.”