Jadon Sancho and other Bundesliga players who showed their support for the late George Floyd by displaying anti-racism gestures and messages will not face any sanction, the German Football Association (DFB) has confirmed.
England forward Sancho was booked for removing his shirt after scoring in Borussia Dortmund’s 6-1 victory over Paderborn at the weekend in order to reveal the words “Justice for George Floyd’ on his undershirt.
Dortmund teammate Achraf Hakimi also displayed the same message, while Schalke’s Weston McKennie wrote the phrase on his armband in their 1-0 defeat by Werder Bremen. Borussia Monchengladbach forward Marcus Thuram, son of 1998 World Cup winner Lillian Thuram, also showed his support by taking a knee following his goal in the 4-1 win over Union Berlin, repeating the gesture made famous by former NFL player Colin Kaepernick in his protest against racial injustice in 2016 and 2017.
The DFB has issued a statement to confirm that not only will the quartet not face any disciplinary action, but that any other players who decide to show their support to anti-racism campaigns will be free to do so as it does not fall foul of Fifa’s political gesture restriction.
A DFB statement read: “The control committee of the German Football Association (DFB) will have no proceedings against the Bundesliga players Achraf Hakimi, Jadon Sancho, Weston McKennie and Marcus Thuram because of their solidarity and anti-racism statements in the case of the late American George Floyd.
“The panel also intends to maintain this line in the event of renewed anti-racism campaigns to mark the violent death of George Floyd on the coming match days.”
The players also received assurance from the DFB chairman, Dr Anton Nachreiner, that the gestures would not be deemed political as they also have the support of the German governing body.
"Of course, the DFB control committee always has the requirements of the Fifa football rules and the DFB regulations in mind,” Dr Nachreiner said.
“In this specific case, however, these are targeted anti-racism campaigns by the players, which are committed to values for which the DFB also stands and always stands for. Therefore, no proceedings will be initiated, even with comparable anti-racism campaigns, in the next few weeks."
The announcement follows Fifa’s move away from a zero tolerance approach on players expressing personal views about politics, religion and social issues on the field, with president Gianni Infantino claiming on Tuesday that officials needed to judge the statements with “common sense”.
“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.
“We all must say no to racism and any form of discrimination. We all must say no to violence. Any form of violence.”
Register for free to continue reading
Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism
By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists
Already have an account? sign in
Join our new commenting forum
Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies