Arsenal fans get ‘goosebumps’ at captain Alexandre Lacazette’s ‘class’ gesture as he STARES DOWN standing Slavia Prague team while taking a knee, just weeks after the Glen Kamara racism row
The two sides met in the Europa League quarter-finals on Thursday night and before kick-off Arsenal, as has become customary, all took a knee as a gesture to raise awareness in combating racism.
Slavia Prague, who saw one of their players given a 10-match ban by UEFA this week for ‘racist behaviour’ towards Rangers‘ Glen Kamara in the previous round, stood while Arsenal dropped to one knee.
Alexandre Lacazette was praised for staring down Slavia Prague as Arsenal took the knee
Fans were left with ‘goosebumps’ by the Frenchman as he spearheaded Arsenal’s squad
To other fans they felt Arsenal had won the game before a ball was kicked after the gesture
Lacazette stared down his rivals and fans were keen to talk up the striker’s leadership
The image was described as ‘more powerful than 1,000 words’ by Arsenal fans who hailed the leadership shown by Lacazette.
‘We had already won by this point,’ one fan tweeted.
‘What a picture. Well played captain,’ another supporter wrote.
Many fans pointed that the game was ‘over’ before Mikel Arteta’s side raced into a 3-0 lead – in which Lacazette scored the second from the penalty spot – on the night inside 30 minutes.
The Frenchman got his second and Arsenal’s fourth midway through the second half to further demolish the Czech hosts and that’s how it finished as the Gunners set up a thrilling semi-final match-up with Villarreal and their former boss, Unai Emery.
Lacazette played inspired in the game itself as he netted twice in a rampant away victory
Lacazette was hailed for his leadership before and during the game as Arsenal progressed
‘Goosebumps Lacazette,’ one fan wrote, accompanying the tweet with two fire emojis.
‘Love the way he’s right in front of them like that,’ another added.
Asked about the powerful gesture after the 4-0 win, Arteta said: ‘I was supportive and thankful the referee and UEFA as well they have been supportive so it was a good gesture.
‘The captain came to me and asked me to do that and I supported them like the club did. I really did like that from the players.
‘We spoke with the club to make sure we could follow the rules of UEFA and we could do it the right way.’
Slavia Prague’s Ondrej Kudela was accused by Kamara of calling him a ‘f***ing monkey’ in ugly scenes that marred Rangers’ Europa League tie last month.
Ondrej Kudela (right) was on Wednesday handed a 10-game ban by UEFA for his ‘racist behaviour’ towards Rangers’ Glen Kamara (left) during their Europa League tie last month
UEFA determined on Wednesday that Kudela should be suspended for 10 games and so he played no part against Arsenal in the quarter-final second-leg.
The reaction to Kudela’s ban has been agenda-setting with the office of the Czech Republic president incredibly accusing UEFA of ‘discriminating against non-black people’ in their verdict.
In a letter addressed to UEFA’s disciplinary board, the office of Milos Zeman defended Kudela, who has firmly denied the allegations levelled against him, saying the accusations against the centre back are ‘unproven’.
Zeman’s office sent a 542-word letter to European football’s governing body stating that they have given an ‘unprecedented punishment for a player who did not harm anyone and only verbally’ without a ‘single piece of evidence’.
The office of the Czech president Milos Zeman (pictured) has piled in on the Kudela racism row
In a letter addressed to UEFA’s disciplinary board, the office of Zeman defended Kudela
The letter went on to state that UEFA are making it ‘impossible for athletes to fulfil their dream in the Europa League, all to fulfil the perverted expectations of a small group of activists’.
UEFA have also been accused of ‘hypocrisy’ and ‘positive discrimination’ in their fight against racism by Zeman’s office.
The strong-worded statement also claimed that the decision to ban Kudela has ‘united ancient rivals’ in Czech football while the ‘Czech public does not identify with your verdict, across the whole society’.
The staggering response comes less than a day after UEFA dished out the bans.
Kudela insists he told Kamara he was ‘a f***ing guy’ as he whispered something into player’s ear during the Czech side’s 2-0 win.