Palestinian player Mohammed Rashid has spoken out on his decision to not stand behind a 'Stop War' banner during a Persib Bandung game in Indonesia, stating that it is a matter of justice.
Rashid went viral after he refused to join his team-mates in standing with a slogan protesting the ongoing Ukraine-Russia crisis ahead of a match earlier this month.
Now, however, he has revealed that his decision to decline the gesture came from frustration that such gestures are selective in regards to which conflicts they protest, citing his own experiences in the Israeli–Palestinian conflict, as highlighting what he views as a broken FIFA system.
What has been said?
"I didn't want to stand because there is no fairness in it," Rashid told GOAL. "Obviously I do not support the war that is happening in Ukraine - I do not support Russia, I don't support any of this stuff. I'm against all types of wars, I'm against all types of violence.
"But for me to stand behind a Stop War banner when it comes to a war that's happening in Europe, when we tried to do the same thing [with] all the wars that have happened over the years in Palestine, and they tell us that we cannot do that, that it is illegal, that it is against FIFA rules, and that it is mixing football and politics, and all these things... it is just a matter of justice and fairness.
"They see our lives as Muslims, as Arabs, are not worthy, they don't matter, then that's their problem. At the end of the day, we are all human beings, we all want to live peacefully and happily and we all want to enjoy our lives too, so why can't we also stand with what we want to stand with when it comes to war in Palestine, war in Syria, Lebanon, Yemen, Iraq? It's all human beings who are innocent people that are dying for no reason."
"So it is just a matter of justice and fairness. When they said that the rules are not mixing football and politics, but then when it happened to a country in Europe, it became OK to mix football and politics. There's no integrity, there's no fairness."