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U.S. Soccer Repeals Policy Requiring Players to Stand For National Anthem

The U.S. Soccer Federation National Council voted to repeal Policy 604-1 at Saturday's annual general meeting. The policy required players to stand for the national anthem.

The vote to repeal the policy received 71.34% of the weighed vote, according to ESPN. Though it had already been repealed in June, it still required an official vote. 

The policy was originally passed in 2017 and read "All persons representing a Federation national team shall stand respectfully during the playing of national anthems at any event in which the Federation is represented."

The policy was introduced as a response to midfielder Megan Rapinoe, who took a knee during the national anthem in 2016 to show solidarity and support for NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick. Kaepernick protested police brutality and racism in America by kneeling during the national anthem while with the 49ers. 

When discourse and comments were being made against the repeal of the policy during the meeting, USSF president Cindy Parlow weighed in. 

"This is about the athletes' and our staff's right to peacefully protest racial inequalities and police brutality," Parlow said. "So I urge our membership to please support our staff and our athletes on this policy."  

Source: U.S. Soccer Repeals Policy Requiring Players to Stand For National Anthem

Soccer-Chelsea's Tuchel hails 'outstanding' Fernandes ahead of United test

a baseball player pitching a ball on a field: Europa League - Round of 32 Second Leg - Manchester United v Real Sociedad © Reuters/PHIL NOBLE Europa League - Round of 32 Second Leg - Manchester United v Real Sociedad

(Reuters) - Chelsea manager Thomas Tuchel has described Manchester United's Bruno Fernandes as one of the best midfielders in the world and said he tried to sign the Portugal international when he was in charge of Paris St Germain.

Fernandes, who arrived from Sporting in January last year, has been fundamental to United's resurgence that sees them sit second in the Premier League table ahead of their trip to Stamford Bridge to take on Chelsea later on Sunday.

"The impact he has had is indescribable and unbelievable," Tuchel said of 26-year-old Fernandes, who has scored 15 goals and provided 11 assists in the Premier League this season.

Video: Solskjaer on Utd's Europa League win (The Independent)

Solskjaer on Utd's Europa League win






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"To come from Portugal, from a competitive team - a big club but not from the strongest league - and step to one of the biggest clubs in the Premier League and the strongest league in Europe... I have nothing but the biggest respect for this guy.

"It is outstanding. He is one of the best midfielders in the world, and he has a huge, huge impact and to have this as a single person in football, you must be absolutely top level because this is almost impossible."

Tuchel, who was in charge of PSG from 2018-20, said he was made aware of Fernandes' abilities by the French club's ex-sporting director Antero Henrique.

"My first sporting director in Paris knew him well," he said. "We fought hard to bring him to our team. We tried and he went another way. It is bad for us that we have to play against him (on Sunday)."

(Reporting by Arvind Sriram in Bengaluru; Editing by Christopher Cushing)

Source: Soccer-Chelsea's Tuchel hails 'outstanding' Fernandes ahead of United test

U.S. Soccer scraps anthem-kneeling policy

a group of people on a grass court: MLS: Nashville SC at FC Dallas © Reuters/Tim Heitman MLS: Nashville SC at FC Dallas

(Reuters) - United States Soccer on Saturday voted to end a ban on players kneeling during the national anthem, something they have done to protest racial inequality and police brutality.

More than 70% of the members of U.S. Soccer's ruling body voted to scrap the policy requiring players to "stand respectfully" during the song. About 30% voted to keep the policy in place.

"We know that this is a very divisive issue within our country and throughout the world," U.S. Soccer President Cindy Parlow Cone told reporters.

"So I was not surprised that our membership was not 100% one way or the other.

Video: Washington Football Team keeping name for '21 (NBC Sports)

The U.S. women's national team stood as a group during the anthem prior to their SheBelieves Cup game on Feb. 21 after some knelt in the tournament opener on Feb. 18.

Team members said they were past the protesting phase of the anthem debate but still committed to fighting to end to systemic racism.

National Football League player Colin Kaepernick began kneeling during the anthem in 2016 to protest racial injustice. Other players joined him until team owners banned the practice. That policy was reversed in 2020 during a wave of national protests over racism and police brutality after the death of George Floyd in May.

In June, U.S. soccer's board of directors voted to repeal the no-kneeling policy, which was put in place after Megan Rapinoe kneeled in 2016.

That board vote required confirmation by the wider U.S. Soccer governing body, which it received on Saturday.

(Reporting by Rory Carroll in San Francisco; Editing by Cynthia Osterman)

Source: U.S. Soccer scraps anthem-kneeling policy

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