Weston McKennie and Jadon Sancho expressed their solidarity with the protests in the USA at the weekend – but not quite properly. Now Fifa sided with the players.
They are competitors in the league, but united in the matter. Both Schalke Weston McKennie and BVB star Jadon Sancho had the message “Justice for George” on their shirts on the previous day. Marcus Thuram from Gladbach also made a statement with a knee. They were solidarity gestures by footballers in connection with the death of black American George Floyd.
First professional has trick 🙏🏼. A bittersweet moment personally as there are more important things going on in the world today that we must address and help make a change. We have to come together as one & fight for justice. We are stronger together! ❤️ #JusticeForGeorgeFloyd 🙏🏼 pic.twitter.com/ntOtwOySCO
– Jadon Sancho (@ Sanchooo10) May 31, 2020
According to FIFA’s wish, these should go unpunished. The World Football Association said in a statement that “common sense” should be used in this context and that the circumstances should be taken into account, the US news agency AP reported on Monday (local time).
Fifa: “depth of feelings” are understandable
Fifa also wrote that it understood “the depth of feelings and concerns that many footballers express regarding the tragic circumstances of the George Floyd case”.
According to the statutes of the German Football Association (DFB), such actions are prohibited. The DFB announced that the control committee would deal with it.
Sanctions by the DFB remain to be seen
After all, the equipment or underwear of the players “must not have any political, religious or personal slogans, messages or images,” said Anton Nachreiner, chairman of the DFB control committee.
“It remains to be seen whether there will be sanctions in the present cases,” said DFB Vice President Rainer Koch on Monday evening. The review by the control committee is about “determining whether the game and the field are the right place for these actions”.
Fifa recently avoided a clear positioning, although the world association claims that it is fighting tirelessly against racism. With a tweet about the best scorers in Europe’s top leagues, FIFA exchanged the image with Sancho’s message for a neutral one shortly after it was published. Then came the explanation of understanding.
DOSB: “Duty of sport to speak out”
DOSB President Alfons Hörmann has supported athletes in their statements against racism and demands “a sense of proportion” from associations in the evaluation of protests. “It is very gratifying when athletes live up to their role model role, which is repeatedly demanded, and speak out in such a completely unacceptable development,” said the head of the German Olympic Sports Confederation on Tuesday morning in the ZDF “Morgenmagazin”.
“So I can only encourage you to say what you think. Show what you feel. I can only hope that the associations and organizations have a reasonable eye for evaluating these actions.” He also said: “When unacceptable issues happen worldwide, it is not just the right, but the duty of sport to speak out,” said Hörmann.