ASUNCION — Almost 2,000 members of Paraguay's Association of Evangelical Priests (APEP) on Tuesday complained about what they see as FIFA's opposition to World Cup players making religious gestures.
In a statement the APEP said it was reacting "with all due respect and having no axe to grind with the president of Sepp Blatter" as such gestures "are not designed to inspire violence."
"Quite the reverse. Prayer is about underpinning friendship, brotherhood, unity, tolerance, peace, solidarity, justice, humility, freedom, cooperation, happiness, concord, mutual respect..." the APEP said.
FIFA is clamping down on players showing any manifestation of religious faith either in the form of gestures or slogans worn on tshirts under their regular kit.
According to APEP, this constitutes "an attack on religious freedom and freedom of conscience".
Brazilian midfield star Kaka could be affected by the measure as after the 2002 World Cup win he was one of several Brazilian players to wear t-shirts with Christian slogans.
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