FIFA tells FAs to use ‘common sense’ over players’ Floyd protests
FIFA has urged competition organisers to use “common sense” when considering whether to punish players for protesting against the death of George Floyd during matches, reports skysports.com.
The Football Association in England has promised to take a “common-sense approach” to players involved in gestures or behaviour promoting the anti-discrimination message, but the German FA (DFB) says it is considering sanctions against players after several demonstrated this weekend.
Floyd, who was black, died in Minneapolis after a white police officer knelt on his neck, despite Floyd warning he could not breathe.
FIFA told the Associated Press: “FIFA fully understands the depth of sentiment and concerns expressed by many footballers in light of the tragic circumstances of the George Floyd case.
“The application of the laws of the game… is left for the competitions’ organisers, which should use common sense and have in consideration the context surrounding the events.”
Jadon Sancho was shown a yellow card for removing his shirt to reveal a “Justice for George Floyd” message after scoring for Borussia Dortmund on Sunday. Team-mate Achraf Hakimi revealed the same message in the game.
On the same day, Marcus Thuram took a knee after scoring for Borussia Monchengladbach, while on Saturday, Schalke’s Weston McKennie wore an armband with the words “Justice for George”.
DFB vice president Rainer Koch said: “As is the case internationally, the game itself should remain free of political statements or messages of any kind.”
Mass protests have continued to take place in America since Floyd’s death, prompting President Donald Trump to threaten to use the army to restore order.
Post-mortems have classified Floyd’s death as a homicide, ruling he died of asphyxiation following compression to his neck and back. Meanwhile, English Professional Footballers’ Association (PFA) deputy chief executive Bobby Barnes says Sancho should be applauded for his tribute to Floyd, rather than punished.
“I genuinely don’t think this is a political message that Jadon has sent out,” he said. “This is a humanitarian slogan that he’s put on his shirt, along with many others.
“When you cast your mind back to that terrible incident a week ago and you look at something that you can only really express as man’s inhumanity to man.
“I think it’s only right that players use the platform that they’ve got to bring attention to these sort of injustices. I certainly think that someone like Jadon should be applauded, certainly not sanctioned.” Barnes also praised the solidarity shown by the Liverpool squad, who displayed their support for the Black Lives Matter movement by taking a knee at Anfield.
“Footballers do have a social conscience and what we’ve actually seen here is a demonstration of the depth of feeling that players have,” Barnes added.
“I was very encouraged by the solidarity shown by the Liverpool team, all colours, races and creeds came together to express their solidarity with George Floyd and abhorrence for this sort of activity, that unfortunately has been going on for far too long.”