FIFA president Gianni Infantino says players calls for George Floyd justice should be 'applauded'

WION Web Team New Delhi, India Jun 03, 2020, 01.19 PM(IST)

A file photo Photograph:( Zee News Network )

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FIFA president Gianni Infantino on Tuesday said that footballers in German Bundesliga calling for justice for George Floyd during matches deserve to be applauded rather than handed sanctions.

FIFA president Gianni Infantino on Tuesday said that footballers in German Bundesliga calling for justice for George Floyd during matches deserve to be applauded rather than handed sanctions. Not only Bundesliga players but athletes across sports including biggest names in Tiger Woods, Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal, Lewis Hamilton, Coco Gauff and English Premier League clubs and players have joined the protest in different forms. While some have put out a statement, others have simply changed their social media display pictures to black in support of #BlackLivesMatter.

The German Football Association (DFB) is currently investigating Borussia Dortmund duo Jadon Sancho and Achraf Hakimi, Borussia Monchengladbach’s Marcus Thuram and FC Schalke’s American midfielder Weston McKennie. 

Floyd died last week after a white policeman in Minneapolis kneeled on the handcuffed American-African’s neck for around nine minutes and the incident sparked violent protests across the United States. 

ALSO READ: #BlackLivesMatter: Tiger Woods, Darren Sammy join growing list sportspersons to raise voice against George Floyd's death

"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," Infantino said in a FIFA statement.

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

Earlier, FIFA called on football leagues to use “common sense” when deciding on sanctions for footballers for displaying political messages. 

"FIFA fully understands the depth of sentiment and concerns expressed by many footballers in light of the tragic circumstances of the George Floyd case," world football's governing body said in a statement.

The German football association is investigating the players, as per IFAB’s laws even though president Fritz Keller said he understood the situation. 

"If people are discriminated against because of the colour of their skin, it is unbearable," said Keller.

"If they die as a result of the colour of their skin, then I am deeply disturbed. The victims of racism need all of our solidarity."