FIFA called for “tolerance, mutual respect and common sense” in the wake of U.S. President Donald Trump’s criticism of U.S. Soccer’s decision to retract the policy that would require players to stand for the national anthem.
U.S. Soccer confirmed over the weekend that the federation would be getting rid of the policy, which had been in place since Megan Rapinoe’s decision to support Colin Kaepernick’s protests of kneeling during the national anthem to combat police brutality and racism.
Trump, a highly-publicised critic of both Kaepernick and Rapinoe, said that he “won’t be watching”, adding that he also would avoid the NFL should players choose to kneel.
The President’s tweets came in response to a bill proposed by senator Matt Gaetz, who called for national team players to be forced to stand; while adding:
“I’d rather the US not have a soccer team than have a soccer team that won’t stand for the National Anthem.”
As a result, U.S. Soccer became the latest organization to emerge as a factor in the nationwide debate over the form of protest, which has been reignited amid ongoing demonstrations following the death of George Floyd.
On Monday, FIFA responded to Trump’s criticisms, calling for “common sense” to be used.
“FIFA strongly advocates for tolerance, mutual respect and common sense when such important matters are debated,” read a FIFA statement to The Associated Press when asked about Trump’s comments. “FIFA has a zero-tolerance approach to incidents of all forms of discrimination in football, as outlined in the FIFA Statutes. We must all say no to racism and no to violence.”
Source: News update