FIFA Responds To Donald Trump’s Tweet, Asks For ‘Tolerance’

The U.S. President tweeted he wouldn’t be watching anymore American soccer after the U.S. Soccer Federation said it will allow players to kneel during the anthem.

The world governing body of soccer has responded to Donald Trump denouncing the idea of players kneeling during the U.S. national anthem. When asked about Trump’s tweet about no longer watching U.S. Soccer over players potentially kneeling, FIFA said to The Associated Press that it firmly stands behind showing patience and understanding.

“FIFA strongly advocates for tolerance, mutual respect and common sense when such important matters are debated,” FIFA said in a statement. “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.”

Two weeks ago, FIFA showed its own ability to show common sense and tolerance. FIFA president Gianni Infantino supported the various on-field protests from Bundesliga players, including American midfielder Weston McKennie, who wore an armband that read “Justice for George.” FIFA decided that no punishments would be given to players and asked referees to use “common sense” when booking players for taking their jersey off to reveal a message.

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When asked about Infantino’s stance on Trump’s tweet, FIFA said Infantino’s “position on the player’s right to express themselves against racism, discrimination and violence was clearly stated two weeks ago and it has not changed.”

With leagues beginning to resume and a large back-up of soccer around the world, it’s not certain when international play for men or women will resume. It will be interesting to see the response from players when either the USWNT or USMNT take the field for the first time since the debate on kneeling during the anthem.