German FA to Investigate Bundesliga Trio Over George Floyd Tributes

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George Floyd
Dortmund's English midfielder Jadon Sancho shows a "Justice for George Floyd" shirt as he celebrates after scoring his team's third goal during the German first division Bundesliga football match SC Paderborn 07 and Borussia Dortmund at Benteler Arena in Paderborn on May 31, 2020. - Dortmund's English midfielder Jadon Sancho shows a "Justice for George Floyd" shirt as he celebrates after scoring his team's third goal during the German first division Bundesliga football match SC Paderborn 07 and Borussia Dortmund at Benteler Arena in Paderborn on May 31, 2020. (Photo by Lars Baron / POOL / AFP) / DFL REGULATIONS PROHIBIT ANY USE OF PHOTOGRAPHS AS IMAGE SEQUENCES AND/OR QUASI-VIDEO (Photo by LARS BARON/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)

The German FA (DFB) responded to messages revealed by Weston McKennie, Jadon Sancho and Achraf Hakimi this weekend.

The three players paid separate tributes after American George Floyd was killed in Minneapolis last week.

German FA to Investigate Weston McKennie, Jadon Sancho and Achraf Hakimi over George Floyd Tributes

Player Tributes

McKennie wore an armband in Schalke’s fixture against Werder Bremen. It said “Justice for Geroge”.

Referee Felix Zwayer asked McKennie to remove the armband during the match.

Sancho was booked in Dortmund’s 6-1 over Paderborn. He removed his shirt to reveal a message saying: “Justice for George Floyd”.

Sancho’s teammate Hakimi revealed the same message after scoring later in the match – but the Morrocan’s actions went unpunished.

Borussia Mönchengladbach player Marcus Thuram showed solidarity. The forward took a knee after scoring against Union Berlin.

However, the DFB won’t take action against Thuram.

He did not break any rules relating to player conduct or displaying political, religious or personal slogans, statements.

German FA explain their Response

DFB refer to The International Football Association Board’s (IFAB) laws of the game regarding McKennie’s actions.

The rule states: “Equipment must not have any political, religious or personal slogans, statements or images. Players must not reveal undergarments that show political, religious, personal slogans, statements or images, or advertising other than the manufacturer’s logo. For any offence, the player and/or the team will be sanctioned by the competition organiser, national football association or by FIFA.”

Regarding Sancho’s message, Sporting Director of Elite Referees, Lutz Michael Fröhlich, explained how the forward broke Law 12. This refers to a player removing a shirt or covering their head when celebrating a goal.

Fröhlich said on DFB’s website: “It is hardly possible for referees to register political, religious or personal slogans, messages or images during a game. It isn’t the same as referees examining that the equipment’s colours match, for example.

“Should the referee notice a political or religious message on the player’s equipment, they make a note of it in their match report.

“An exception is when the player’s actions have an immediate impact on the game. Such as delaying the restart of play, which the referee can punish with a yellow card.”

DFB’s Statement

German FA vice-president, Rainer Koch, released a statement on the German FA’s website.

He said: “According to the DFB constitution, the control body’s task is to ensure that the DFB’s constitution and regulations are adhered to and examine the circumstances surrounding violations.

“This is now happening as a result of this weekend’s actions. Part of these examinations ascertains whether matches and on the pitch are the right place for these actions. As is the case internationally, the game itself should remain free of political statements or messages of any kind. The fair and competitive action on the pitch should be the focus.

“There are opportunities before and after the match for these kinds of things. We’ll have to wait and see whether sanctions are required in these instances.”

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