FIFA, football’s world governing body, has urged national federations to take a lenient view of players protesting about discrimination and racism.
In the Bundesliga on Sunday, Jadon Sancho of Borussia Dortmund was booked after scoring a goal and celebrating by lifting his shirt to reveal a T-shirt referencing George Floyd, the Afro-American man who died in police custody in Minneapolis last week, after a white police officer knelt on his neck.
And, earlier that same afternoon, Marcus Thuram of Borussia Mönchoengladbach took a knee after scoring for his club against Union Berlin.
The German Football Association (DFB) is considering further disciplinary action against the pair, and several other players for breaching the rules of the game, which include a ban on players displaying slogans, statements, or logos on their kit which could be considered of a political nature.
However, FIFA has now urged member associations to use common sense and to take into context the impact of wider worldwide events, with protests about the death of Floyd, and racism more broadly in American society and elsewhere has become a global phenomenon in the past week.
FIFA’s President Gianni Infantino has even gone further, by suggesting that those who had been protesting about the death of Floyd in the Bundesliga deserved “applause and not a punishment”.
In England, the Football Association (FA) has already said that it does not expect to take any disciplinary action if they choose to make similar protests when the English league seasons resume in a few weeks’ time.
On Monday, Liverpool players interrupted their training when the entire squad chose to take a knee. Their example was followed by Chelsea and Newcastle players on Tuesday.
The FA has said that it opposes discrimination of any kind and that it has spent years trying to make football in England as diverse and inclusive as possible.