Arsenal send anti-racism message as Slavia Prague refuse to take the knee in Europa League clash

Slavia Prague refused to take the knee before their Europa League quarter-final first leg with Arsenal.

A powerful message which has now become a fixture in the Premier League and further afield, players continue to take the knee before kick-off in order to continue the fight against racism.

Some EFL clubs – including Queens Park Rangers and Brentford – announced they have stopped taking the knee as they feel the gesture against discrimination no longer has the required impact.

And Slavia did not take part in the pre-match fixture tonight at the Emirates Stadium, instead choosing to stand united around the centre circle before Arsenal, instead, took the knee.

Arsenal tweeted 10 minutes after kick-off with a powerful image of Emile Smith Rowe taking the knee, with the caption ‘We will always #SayNoToRacism’.

It comes on the back of the Czech side being involved in a racism storm following alleged abuse received by Glen Kamara. Slavia’s Ondrej Kudela was provisionally suspended for this game after UEFA opened disciplinary proceedings against both him and former Arsenal man Kamara.

Kamara alleged he was racially abused by Kudela during Rangers’ last-16 tie at Ibrox on March 18, while Kudela claims he was assaulted by the Rangers man after the game.

A UEFA statement said: “Following an investigation conducted by a UEFA Ethics and Disciplinary Inspector regarding the incidents that occurred during the 2020/21 UEFA Europa League Round of 16 second leg match between Rangers FC and SK Slavia Praha on 18 March 2021, proceedings have been opened against Mr. Ondřej Kúdela in order for the UEFA Control, Ethics and Disciplinary Body (CEDB) to assess a potential violation of Article 14(1) or Article 15(1)(a)(iv) of the UEFA Disciplinary Regulations (DR) and against Mr. Glen Kamara in order for the CEDB to assess a potential violation of Article 15(1)(g) DR,” the statement read.

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“In accordance with Article 49 DR, the CEDB today decided to provisionally suspend Mr. Ondřej Kúdela for the next (1) UEFA club competition match for which he would otherwise be eligible for the prima facie violation of Article 15(1)(a)(iv) DR, without prejudice to any ruling that the CEDB may subsequently make on the alleged violation of Article 14(1) DR.”

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