FA want talks with Romelu Lukaku after Chelsea striker raises questions over taking a knee

Thomas Tuchel says Chelsea will make changes in League Cup

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The FA want to open discussions with Romelu Lukaku after the Chelsea striker questioned the impact of taking a knee before matches. Lukaku believes the gesture is not having the desired effect on football’s fight against racism.

Professional players have been taking a knee since elite sport returned following the coronavirus lockdown in the spring of 2020.

The gesture has come under fire from many players, who believe it has done nothing to prevent racism both in football and in the wider society.

Crystal Palace winger Wilfried Zaha stopped taking a knee last season, describing it as ‘degrading’, while the likes of Ivan Toney and Marcos Alonso have followed suit this term.

“I think we can take stronger positions, basically,” Lukaku said on Thursday.

“We are taking the knee but, in the end, everybody’s clapping but sometimes after the game you see another insult.

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“I have to fight. Because I’m not fighting only for myself – I’m fighting for my son, for my future kids, for my brother, for all of the other players and their kids, you know – for everybody.

“At the end of the day, football should be an enjoyable game. You cannot kill the game by discrimination – that should never happen.

“Football is joy. It’s happiness and it shouldn’t be a place where you feel unsafe because of the opinion from some uneducated people.”

According to CNN, a spokesperson for the FA has confirmed that contact has been made to set-up a talk with Lukaku.

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“We always welcome conversations on this important subject with players and others across the game,” the FA spokesperson said.

“If you want to stop something, you can really do it,” Lukaku continued.

“We as players, we can say, ‘yeah we can boycott social media,’ but I think it’s those companies that have to come and talk to the teams, or to the governments, or to the players themselves and find a way how to stop it because I really think they can.

“The captains of every team, and four or five players, like the big personalities of every team, should have a meeting with the CEOs of Instagram and governments and the FA and the PFA.

“And we should just sit around the table and have a big meeting about it – how we can attack it straight away, not only from the men’s game, but also from the women’s game.

“I think just all of us together and just have a big meeting and have a conference and just talk about stuff that needs to be addressed to protect the players, but also to protect fans and younger players that want to become professional footballers.”

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