FIFA asks leagues to use ‘common sense’ over Floyd protests


Football players like Achraf Hakimi, Marcus Thuram and Jadon Sancho rock ”justice for George Floyd” on their undershirts during Bundesliga; a violation of FIFA rules

The Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) asked competition organisers to use “common sense” with players who display messages of protest over the death of George Floyd.

Floyd, an unarmed black man, was killed in police custody in the United States.

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His death has garnered protests in most European countries. Demonstrators are clamouring for an end to police brutality, white supremacy and racism.

According to the regulations of the world soccer governing body, players are barred from displaying any “political, religious or personal slogans, statements or images” on their kit.

Since 2014, this ban had included undershirts — a response to players lifting their shirts to display a message when scoring.

However, several players protested during matches in Germany’s Bundesliga at the weekend, with Borussia Dortmund’s Jadon Sancho and Achraf Hakimi displaying undershirts with the message, “Justice for George Floyd” on Sunday.

Schalke 04 defender Weston McKennie, displayed the same message on his armband in another game while Borussia Moenchengladbach’s Marcus Thuram knelt to honour Floyd after scoring against Union Berlin.

The German Football Association said it was reviewing the incidents where the message was shown.

In a statement on Tuesday, FIFA said it “fully understands the depth of sentiment and concerns expressed by many footballers in light of the tragic circumstances of the George Floyd case.

It added that competition organisers “should use common sense and have in consideration the context surrounding the events.

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