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Lufthansa’s German World Cup plane carries ‘DiversityWins’ slogan

Lufthansa said Monday it will be using an aircraft bearing the sign “#DiversityWins!” to fly Germany’s football team to their World Cup campaign, one of the most controversial tournaments in history.

The plane takes off on Monday with players, coaches and support staff to their training camp in Muscat, Oman, ahead of the tournament in Qatar.

“The aircraft assigned to the flight –- an Airbus A330 –- will be sporting a special livery that sends a clear message to the world: #DiversityWins!,” said Lufthansa in a statement.

Qatar’s treatment of migrant workers, women and the LGBTQ community has come under the spotlight, as it prepares to host the tournament. Qatar has angrily rebuffed most of the attacks and local media on Sunday blasted the “arrogance” of some Western countries.

Organised fan groups from several high-profile German clubs, including Bayern Munich, Borussia Dortmund, Union Berlin and St Pauli have frequently criticised the awarding of the World Cup to Qatar in recent weeks, with some calling for widespread supporter boycotts. 

On Sunday, Germany’s 2014 World Cup-winning captain Philipp Lahm said that Qatar should never have been allowed to host the World Cup and vowed to stay away from the tournament.

“Awarding the World Cup to Qatar was a mistake,” Lahm wrote in a column for Die Zeit newspaper. “It doesn’t belong there.”

“Homosexuals are still criminalised, women do not have the same rights as men, freedom of the press and freedom of expression are restricted,” Lahm added.

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