FIFA President Gianni Infantino stepped into the controversy about Bundesliga players who protested throughout matches in opposition to the loss of life of George Floyd, saying Tuesday that they need to be applauded and never punished.
Borussia Dortmund winger Jadon Sancho was booked for taking off his jersey throughout a Bundesliga match so he may show a T-shirt emblazoned with “Justice for George Floyd.”
Dortmund teammate Achraf Hakimi and Schalke midfielder Weston McKennie carried the same messages on their body at the weekend in a technical breach of the game’s laws that led to the Germany soccer federation saying it was considering a disciplinary case despite expressing pride in their actions.
Floyd, a black man and former community college basketball player, died after a white police officer pressed his knee into Floyd’s neck for several minutes even after he stopped moving and stopped pleading for air. His death has sparked protests across the United States and in other countries.
“For the avoidance of doubt,” Infantino said, “in a FIFA competition the recent demonstrations of players in Bundesliga matches would deserve applause and not a punishment.”
Infantino’s comments were published in a statement by FIFA and were set to feature in a letter to all 211 member associations. The statement also urged leagues to apply “common sense and have in consideration the context surrounding the events.”
The legal guidelines of the sport prohibit “any political, spiritual or private slogans, statements or photographs” on equipment.
European football’s governing body will also overlook that rule to allow Floyd tributes in continental competitions it oversees.
“Football is a sport which encourages tolerance, inclusion and justice,” UEFA President Aleksander Ceferin said. “These are the same values being espoused by those showing solidarity to George Floyd.” Source: worldnewj.com