Alexandre Lacazette’s anti-racism stand against Slavia Prague a ‘good gesture’, says Mikel Arteta

Striker knelt in front of opposition players at kick-off before scoring twice in a 4-0 win

Alex Pattle
Friday 16 April 2021 08:46
Match Preview: Arsenal vs Fulham on 18/4/2021

Mikel Arteta has hailed Alexandre Lacazette’s pre-match actions versus Slavia Prague as a “good gesture” in the club’s stand against racism.

As Arsenal players knelt on the pitch at kick-off, Lacazette did so in front of Prague players, who had elected to stand arm-in-arm.

Prague’s Ondrej Kudela was this week banned for 10 matches by Uefa after being found guilty of racially abusing Rangers midfielder Glen Kamara.

Striker Lacazette scored twice on Thursday night as Arsenal beat Prague 4-0 in the Europa League quarter-final second leg, following a 1-1 draw in the reverse fixture at the Emirates. The results ensured the Gunners a place in the final four, where they will take on Villarreal.

As well as being pleased with his team’s performance, Arsenal coach Arteta praised Lacazette and the captain’s team-mates for their pre-match stand against racist abuse.

“They asked me and the club that they wanted to take that initiative,” Arteta said.

“They had the right reasons for it, so the club was very supportive. I was supportive and thankfully the referee, and Uefa, they’ve been supportive. So I think it was a good gesture.

“They came to me, they wanted to take that initiative. We spoke with the club to make sure that we could follow the rules of Uefa and we can do it in the right way.

“We decided to take that approach, which I really like from the players, and I must say that Uefa was very supportive as well.

“The captains came to me and asked me to do that, and I just supported them like the club did.”

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