Football

FIFA urges tolerance after Trump comments about kneeling

United States President Donald Trump tweeted that he was going to boycott all sports in the country if players started kneeling during the national anthem.

FIFA urges tolerance after Trump comments about kneeling
JIM WATSON AFP

After the NFL and the U.S. Soccer Federation lifted the ban on kneeling during the national anthem, President Donald Trump said if athletes started doing that he would boycott all sports in the United States. The Associated Press asked about the subject and FIFA called for “tolerance, mutual respect and common sense.”

U.S. Soccer adopted the rule back in 2017 when Megan Rapinoe decided to kneel during the national anthem prior to a game but due to the death of George Floyd and the protests around the country, the organization repealed that rule last Wednesday.

Congressman joins Trump in opposing rule change

President Trump is not the only one that is not happy about lifting the ban, as Republican Congressman Matt Gaetz, who represents Florida’s 1st district, introduced a new bill on Friday that will require United State athletes to stand during the national anthem.

Trump retweeted a tweet posted by Gaetz, who wrote: “I’d rather the United States not have a soccer team than have a soccer team that won’t stand for the National Anthem.”

FIFA states "zero-tolerance approach" to discrimination in football

“FIFA strongly advocates for tolerance, mutual respect and common sense when such important matters are debated,” world soccer’s governing body said in a 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.

In response to Trump's tweet, FIFA said President Gianni Infantino's "position on the players' rights to express themselves against racism, discrimination and violence was clearly stated two weeks ago and it has not changed."

Infantino also showed his support for on-field protests after American midfielder Weston McKennie wore an armband while playing for Schalke in Germany with the handwritten message 'Justice for George' around his left arm.