FOOTBALL: Premier League, EFL, and FA accused of “double standards” following lack of Christchurch tribute

The Premier League, Football League, and the Football Association has been accused of double standards for not holding a tribute following the mosque attacks in New Zealand.

Silences were held during this weekend’s Six Nations and rugby league games, but no games across England’s top flight and FA Cup games.

Premier League clubs wore black armbands, following the attacks in Paris in 2015, with La Marseillaise being played before fixtures, as well as at Wembley.

Yunus Lunat, former chair of the FA race equality board, has branded it as “hypocrisy.” And this is a view that I completely agree with.

Back in 2015, then-Premier League chief Richard Scudamore said the tributes following the attack in the French capital were an act of “solidarity and remembrance.”

But there was no tributes for the attacks in Christchurch, and only a tweet from the Premier League account was a so-called act of “solidarity and remembrance.”

Lunat spoke to BBC Sport, and said: “There is no excuse, whenever something has happened, not even on the same scale, football has always come out and paid tribute.

“It is double standards and hypocrisy. To hold a minute’s silence was the right thing to do. When it happens for the events, it has to happen across the board for every attack.

“The reason this happens is because there are a lack of role models and senior ethnic executives that can identify this sort of thing.”

The lack of tribute for the Christchurch attacks is pretty damning, in the opinion of Lunat – who also drew comparisons to the Nice attacks in 2016, with the FA lighting up Wembley’s arch in the Tricolour. Again to show solidarity.

But where is the solidarity and remembrance for the 50 people killed in the attacks?

The FA said it was down to the decision of the clubs playing themselves. Watford, Swansea, Wolves and Millwall all had the choice of a minute silence for those who lost their lives, but did not. Why not enforce it?

Fulham did have a silence ahead of their game against Liverpool, but this wasn’t in remembrance for the Christchurch attacks, it was for a former employee of the club who passed away last month.

The issue here is the lack of consistency. As Lunat points out, football has regularly come and paid tribute. So why was there a lack of tributes this weekend?

Fixtures in rugby held tributes for the attacks, and while the sport has a closer connection with New Zealand than football does, it was still extremely surprising to see football miss this one out.

Burnley’s Chris Wood featured in his side’s 2-1 defeat to Leicester City on Saturday. As a New Zealand international with 56 caps, it was surely an emotional time for him. But the Premier League didn’t organise any tribute for those who died in his home nation.

Wood’s international teammate Kosta Barbarouses honoured those who tragically lost their lives by dedicating his goal in Melbourne Victory’s 2-1 win over Brisbane Roar to them.

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