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FA plans Lukaku talks after Chelsea striker makes passionate plea in taking a knee debate

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The Belgium international wants more to be done to eradicate discrimination from sport and society and has called for more meetings

Chelsea striker Romelu Lukaku believes “stronger positions” can be taken in the fight to combat racism in football, with the Belgian pointing out that while “everybody’s clapping, after the game you see another insult”.

Spain defender, and Lukaku’s Chelsea team-mate, Marcos Alonso has announced that he is to become the latest prominent Premier League figure to stop taking the knee before kick-off, a pre-match ritual that was first introduced when top-flight action in England resumed after the coronavirus-enforced lockdown in the summer of 2020.

Efforts continue to be made when it comes to eradicating all forms of discrimination from sport and wider society, but Lukaku concedes that actions on the field are not having the desired impact and more needs to be done by those in positions of power.

What has been said?

Lukaku told CNN: “I think we can take stronger positions, basically.

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

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

A spokesperson for the Football Association told CNN that contact had been made over arranging a talk with Lukaku. The spokesperson said: “We always welcome conversations on this important subject with players and others across the game.”

What does Lukaku think should be done?

Romelu Lukaku Chelsea knee 2021-22

The 28-year-old frontman is prepared to lead an ongoing “fight” and is looking for major players in the world of social media, politics and sport to sit down and thrash out suitable plans for a more inclusive future.

Lukaku added: “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.

“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.”

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