Many Bundesliga players, including Achraf Hakimi, are at risk of being punished after showing their support for the murdered George Floyd in the middle of a match following police violence in the United States. FIFA intervened to ask the associations to be lenient in the case.
Several footballers in Bundesliga games this weekend have shown solidarity with protests in the United States against police brutality following the death of suffocated 46-year-old African American George Floyd during a violent arrest by white police on Monday in Minneapolis.
Among the players who made a strong gesture in support, the international Moroccan Achraf Hakimi, who, Sunday May 31, during the meeting of Borussia Dortmund against Paderbon, took off his shirt and unveiled the inscription “Justice for George Floyd”, after scoring his team’s 4th goal on a decisive pass from Marcel Schmelzer.
His teammate Jadon Sancho also did the same. Earlier today, Borussia Mönchengladbach Thuram player Lilian Thuram knelt down after scoring against Union Berlin, while American international Schalke 04 McKennie wore an armband “Justice for George Floyd”.
In this sense, the German Football Association has announced that it will examine the tributes to George Floyd and other political gestures made by a number of players during the action of the Bundesliga this weekend, by sanctioning players for violating the laws of the game which prohibit “any slogan, declaration or political, religious or personal image” on the equipment.
FIFA supports Hakimi and Co
FIFA does not seem to agree and quickly reacted, advising German football associations to use “common sense” when dealing with the players’ protest against the death of George Floyd.
In a statement, the world football body has supported footballers who protested the death of the African American, calling on associations to be flexible and not to apply the laws of football when it comes of this kind of actions.
“FIFA fully understands the deep feelings and concerns expressed by many footballers in light of the tragic circumstances of the George Floyd affair,” the governing body said in a statement before adding:
“The application of the laws of the game approved by the IFAB is left to the competition organizers, who must use common sense and take into account the context surrounding the events.”
FIFA controls half of the eight votes on the International Football Association committee, the other four being held by England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales. A law change in 2014 – proposed by England – led to a ban on players from revealing personal statements about underwear.