Bundesliga players should not be punished for protests

    FIFA president Gianni Infantino has voiced his opinion on the debate concerning the protest of Bundesliga players against the death of George Floyd during matches. He insisted that the players should instead be applauded for showing support.

    It can be recalled that England international and Borussia Dortmund winger Jadon Sancho received a booking for taking off his jersey during a Bundesliga match to display a T-shirt emblazoned with ‘Justice for George Floyd’

    His teammates Achraf Hakimi and Schalke midfielder Weston McKennie displayed the same messages on their bodies during the weekend in what was a technical breach of the laws of the game.

    This resulted in the German Federation’s consideration of a disciplinary case although they expressed pride in their actions.

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    It can be recalled that George Floyd, a black man, and former community college footballer lost his life after a police officer knelt on his neck for several minutes even after he became motionless and stopped pleading for air.

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    The incident has sparked violent protests across the United States as well as in other countries.

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

    Infantino’s statements were made known in a statement released by FIFA and were to feature in a letter to all 21 member associations.

    The statement subsequently called in all leagues to apply “common sense and have consideration in the context surrounding the events.”

    More games will come up this weekend as more leagues return to competitive action and it’s likely that more players could join the protest.

    Regardless, it remains to be seen what action will be taken by the German Federation against the supposedly erring players. Meanwhile, there won’t be any surprises if more Bundesliga players engage in similar protests in this weekend’s games.

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