FIFA Comes Out in Support of Black Lives Matter and Justice for George Floyd Gestures

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FIFA | OZAN KOSE/Getty Images

FIFA has confirmed its support of footballers who make an on-field gesture in protest against the killing of George Floyd and in solidarity with the wider Black Lives Matter movement.

The football world has reacted strongly to the death of the 46-year-old black American at the hands of a white police officer in Minneapolis on 25 May, with Jadon Sancho, Marcus Thuram, Achraf Hakimi and Weston McKennie all choosing to show solidarity through various messages during the weekend's round of Bundesliga fixtures.

In a statement posted on their website, FIFA said: "FIFA fully understands the depth of sentiment and concerns expressed by many footballers in light of the tragic circumstances of the George Floyd case.

"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."

And after the FA pledged a 'common sense' approach to dealing with Black Lives Matter gestures when the Premier League returns on 17 June, FIFA President Gianni Infantino hinted at a similar stance being taken during FIFA competitions, suggesting players will not receive a yellow card for revealing a message under their shirts or on an armband.

FIFA President Gianni Infantino has hinted at a 'common sense' approach to Black Lives Matter demonstrations in FIFA competitions
FIFA President Gianni Infantino has hinted at a 'common sense' approach to Black Lives Matter demonstrations in FIFA competitions | ROBIN VAN LONKHUIJSEN/Getty Images

"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," he said.

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

They then ended the statement with the hashtags '#stopracism #stopdiscrimination #stopviolence'.

Kick It Out chairman Sanjay Bhandari, meanwhile, has urged all footballers to take a knee in order to protest the killing of Floyd and show their support for the Black Lives Matter movement.

The Liverpool squad were pictured down on one knee in the Anfield centre circle in a show of solidarity, and Bhandari has encouraged others to follow suit once the Premier League resumes.