D.C. United Fan Groups Plan Protest Of The Mls Club's Preseason Trip To Saudi Arabia

WASHINGTON (AP) — Five D.C. United fan groups said Monday they’ll remain quiet for the first four matches this season to protest the Major League Soccer team’s partnership with Saudi Arabia.

D.C. United took a preseason trip to the Middle Eastern country, playing four exhibition games there from Jan. 30 to Feb. 9.

In a joint statement, the groups said they will refrain from banging drums or bringing flags and banners as a sign of protest.

“The club's stated values of being ‘relentless, deliberate and decisive’ must also include a deliberate respect for human rights,” the groups said in a post on social media.

D.C. United’s largest fan group, known as the Screaming Eagles, was not among those signed to the statement. The Washington Post reported that group was still formulating its plans, not wanting to punish players and coaches for ownership decisions.

The club opens the 2024 MLS season Saturday at home against the New England Revolution. Lionel Messi and Inter Miami FC visit Audi Field on March 16, which is one of D.C. United's first four games.

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