Foto: THEMBA HADEBE/AP
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Denmark: Stop religious soccer

The Danish Football Federation is calling for religious manifestations at soccer matches to be stopped.

News in English

Denmark's Football Federation Chairman is calling for religious manifestations such as those shown by Brazilian footballers after winning the recent Federations Cup to be banned.

Following their 3-2 victory over the United States, the Brazilain team fell to its knees in a ring to thank God for their victory.

"Personally I do not think that sport and religion should be mixed to such a degree that we more or less see a manifestation of a religious stance," says DBU Secretary-General Jim Stjerne Hansen.

"Just as we reject political manifestations, we should also say no to religious ones. There are too many risks involved in clubs, for example, with people of different religious faiths," he says.

Rules
Hansen says that the Brazilian 'event' also ran contrary to the international soccer federation FIFA's own rules.

Fifa rules state that if equipment contains political, religious or personal slogans, tournament organisers or FIFA will punish perpetrators.

Kaka (left) and Lucio. Lucio's T-shirt front says I Love Jesus. The back is a declaration of love to his wife.

Pentecostalists
The Brazlian event at the Federations Cup was particularly controversial as the Pentecostalists in Brazil are accused of violating the country's religious freedoms. Members of the religious movement are accused of attacking other religous Brazilians such as those worshipping African deities.

FIFA
Politiken has been unable to get a comment from FIFA, which simply refers to the rules, which clearly say that players are not allowed to broadcast religious statements on their equipment.

This has not been the case for Brazilian footballlers who on several occasions have donned T-shirts showing 'I love Jesus', 'I love God' and 'I belong to Jesus'.

Edited by Julian Isherwood

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