FIFA wants ‘common sense’ applied to anti-racism slogans

FIFA have come out and urged competition organisers to use “common sense” when assessing the actions of players or officials who display anti-racism slogans during matches.

It comes in the wake of a show of support by Borussia Dortmund winger Jadon Sancho in the wake of the tragic death of George Floyd in the United States.

England international Sancho displayed a “Justice for George Floyd” message under his match jersey after scoring one of three goals in the 6-1 victory over Paderborn on Sunday.

That is in direct contravention of lawmakers IFAB, who do now allow slogans to be displayed, but FIFA insists that in this case context matters and should be considered.

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

“FIFA had repeatedly expressed itself to be resolutely against racism and discrimination of any kind and recently strengthened its own disciplinary rules with a view to helping to eradicate such behaviour.

“FIFA itself has promoted many anti-racism campaigns which frequently carry the anti-racism message at matches organised under its own auspices.

“The application of the Laws of the Game approved by the IFAB is left for the competitions organisers which should use common sense and have in consideration the context surrounding the events.”

FIFA President Gianni Infantino added: “For the avoidance of doubt, in a FIFA competition the recent demonstrations of players in Bundesliga matches would deserve an applause and not a punishment.

“We all must say no to racism and any form of discrimination. We all must say no to violence. Any form of violence.”

Floyd died while being detained by police as an officer leant for eight minutes with a knee on his neck in full view of bystanders, and amid the cries of Floyd that he could not breath.

The incident has sparked protests across the United States, where it is claimed that the actions of the police were racially motivated.

The Bundesliga is one of the few major leagues running at present due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but with England, Spain and Italy set to return this month, more players could follow Sancho’s lead.