The top German football body is reviewing gestures by several football players to express their backing for protests in the US over the police killing of George Floyd, an African-American.

Borussia Dortmund's Jadon Sancho celebrates scoring their second goal with a 'Justice for George Floyd' shirt, as play resumes behind closed doors following the outbreak of the coronavirus disease.
Borussia Dortmund's Jadon Sancho celebrates scoring their second goal with a 'Justice for George Floyd' shirt, as play resumes behind closed doors following the outbreak of the coronavirus disease. (Reuters)

The German Football Association (DFB) has launched an investigation into players that showed support for US protests over the police killing of George Floyd during matches over the weekend.

The top German football body is reviewing gestures by several football players to express their backing for protests in the US over the death of George Floyd, an African-American who died in police custody after a white police officer knelt on his neck for about nine minutes.

Four football players in the German football league, Bundesliga, used different methods to voice their sympathy. 

Jadon Sancho and Achraf Hakimi from Borussia Dortmund displayed a t-shirt under their jersey with the slogan “Justice for George Floyd”.

Marcus Thuram from Borussia Monchengladbach knelt on the pitch, which is a gesture to protest police brutality and racism against African-Americans. 

Another Bundesliga player, Weston McKennie, wrote on his armband: “Justice for George Floyd.”

"The DFB's control committee will deal with this issue in the next few days and examine the matter," announced the chairman of the control committee, Anton Nachreiner, on Sunday.

On Monday, DFB Vice President Rainer Koch said that the review will aim to determine "whether the game and the field are the right place for these actions.

“In the current football rules, the equipment of footballers may not have any political, religious or personal slogans, messages or images.”

However, the investigation by the DFB has sparked debates in Germany as to whether standing up against racism should be seen as a political message.

Furthermore, Law 12 written by rule-making body of football, IFAB, states that players will be cautioned for "removing the shirt or covering the head with the shirt".

FIFA asks leagues to use 'common sense'

World soccer's governing body FIFA has asked competition organisers to use "common sense" with players who display messages of protest over the death of George Floyd.

FIFA regulations bar players from displaying any "political, religious or personal slogans, statements or images" on their kit. 

Since 2014, this ban has included undershirts – a response to players lifting up their shirts to display a message when scoring.

In a statement on Tuesday, FIFA said it "fully understands the depth of sentiment and concerns expressed by many footballers in light of the tragic circumstances of the George Floyd case".

It added that applying the laws of the game was the responsibility of competition organisers, such as domestic leagues, who FIFA said "should use common sense and have in consideration the context surrounding the events".

"FIFA had repeatedly expressed itself to be resolutely against racism and discrimination of any kind and recently strengthened its own disciplinary rules with a view to helping to eradicate such behaviours," it added in the statement.

"FIFA itself has promoted many anti-racism campaigns, which frequently carry the anti-racism message at matches organised under its own auspices."

Source: TRT World