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FIFA Asks Leagues To Use 'Common Sense' As Players Protest Over George Floyd’s Death; 'Liverpool Will Not Ease Up After Title: Jurgen Klopp and More (Football Round-up)

Short Passes (Football News Round-up): FIFA asks leagues to use 'common sense' as players across the world protest over George Floyd’s death | Liverpool will not ease up after sealing title, says Jurgen Klopp | Rejuvenated Giroud 'very nearly' left Chelsea in January | Infantino wants to turn football into a huge money machine: Sepp Blatter | Spain's Mediapro partners with TF1 to form a football channel in France.
Liverpool players take the knee during training for George Floyd

Liverpool FC players expressed their solidarity in the protest demanding justice for George Floyd and for bringing an end to systemic racism, during a training session at Anfield.

FIFA urged league organisers to use ‘common sense’ with players who protest between matches, after many called for justice for George Floyd in Bundesliga games over the weekend.

Football’s lawmakers, The International Football Association Board (IFAB) prohibits players from showing ‘any political, religious or personal slogans, statements or images’ on their clothing.

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FIFA, in a statement, 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’. The statement added that competition organisers are responsible for applying the laws of the game. 

“The application of the laws of the game approved by the IFAB is left for the competitions organisers which should use common sense and keep in consideration the context surrounding the event,” FIFA said. 

“FIFA had repeatedly expressed itself to be resolutely against racism and discrimination of any kind...FIFA itself has promoted many anti-racism campaigns which frequently carry the anti-racism message at matches organised under its own auspices,” it said.

‘Liverpool Will Not Ease up After Title’

Liverpool Manager Jurgen Klopp said his team will not be satisfied even after securing the title having won two more games in the Premier League. The title would be Liverpool’s first Premier League title and their first top flight crown in 30 years.

The club currently holds a 25-point lead over second-placed Manchester City and the campaign is scheduled to resume on June 17 after three months of suspension due to the pandemic. Teams returned to training in small groups this week. 

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Liverpool have a great chance of securing the title with a win against Everton in their first match upon resumption if, especially if Manchester City lose to Arsenal. 

“It’s nice to think about it but we are not champions yet and we know that,” Klopp told the BBC. “We know we’re close but close is not there. There are 27 points left for us and we will try everything to take them all. We don’t want to stop winning after two games…”

Speaking about returning to action, Klopp echoed the sentiments of many football fans across the world, saying: “I have missed it so much it’s unbelievable. “I know it’s not the most important thing in life but it is my passion. I hope the people are looking forward to it because we are.”

Giroud 'Very Nearly' Left Chelsea

Chelsea striker Olivier Giroud told the club’s official website that he ‘very nearly’ left Stamford Bridge in January, further adding that he has now set his sights on winning more trophies with the Premier League club.

“I was supposed to leave in the January transfer window because I wasn't playing much and I needed more game time to make the France squad for Euro 2020,” Giroud said. “I very nearly left the club but I really think that God wanted me to stay at Chelsea.”

“The manager told me that he couldn't let me leave because he didn't have anyone to replace me. Everyone knows what happened so I won't go back over it but the coach spoke to me privately and told me that he'd give more games,” Giroud expanded.

“He kept his word and what then mattered to me was proving to him that he could count on me when I was called upon.”

The 33-year old striker recently signed a one-year contract extension with Chelsea and will now play until the end of the next season. 

Blatter’s Salvo Against Infantino

Former FIFA president Sepp Blatter has pointed his guns in the direction of his successor, Gianni Infantino referring to him as a ‘megalomaniac’. Blatter hit out at Infantino's proposed expansion of the FIFA World Cup to 48 teams and said that he wants the sport to turn into a money churning machine.

He also took jibes at the proposed changes in the Women's World Cup and Club World Cup and said more number of teams in the competitions is only going to make it ‘too heavy’.

"Gianni Infantino wants to turn football into a huge money machine. He wants everything to be bigger," Blatter was quoted as saying by Swiss outlet Keystone-ATS. "A World Cup of 48 teams, the Goal project renamed because he wants three times more money. A big Club World Cup with 24 teams, passing the Women''s World Cup from 24 to 32 teams. It's not possible, it's too heavy to digest.”

"He plays with himself because he is imbued with himself. He has become a megalomaniac. In his arrogance, he no longer speaks to the Presidents of the associations but only to heads of state,” the former FIFA boss added.

Blatter, it is important to remember, was banned from FIFA-related activities for eight years (the sentence was cut down to six years by FIFA appeals committee) after the Swiss Attorney General’s office started proceedings against him for criminal mismanagement and misappropriation.

New Football Channel in France

Spanish broadcasting group Mediapro has agreed to start a football channel with TF1 Group to air top Ligue 1 league matches in the country.

The four-year renewable agreement, the financial details of which have not been put out for the public, takes TF1 to the forefront of France’s football TV landscape, which was earlier dominated by Vivendi’s pay-TV Canal Plus and Qatari-owned beIN Sports.

The new football channel, ‘Telefoot’, is named after TF1’s historic TV football magazine. Mediapro and TF1 plan a launch in August, or around the time when football competitions start once restrictions imposed to fight the spread of the new coronavirus are lifted.

Mediapro’s founder Jaume Roures said the subscription of the channel would be set at €25 per month, and aims to reach a viewership of 3.5 million subscribers.

“These agreements could expand in the not-too-distant future,” Roures added, citing advertising, which makes the bulk of TF1’s revenues.

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