Romanian who DIDN'T take the knee says he was supporting Ondrej Kudela

Romanian footballer who DIDN’T take the knee against England reveals he was supporting his ‘racist’ team-mate Ondrej Kudela, who called Rangers star Glen Kamara a ‘f***ing monkey’, against his 10-match ban handed out ‘without proof’

  • Nicolae Stanciu played the entire warm-up fixture against England on Sunday 
  • The 28-year-old was one of two Romanian players not to take the knee at kick-off
  • He later stated he was supporting his club team-mate at Slavia Prague, Kudela
  • Kudela was given a 10-game ban for racially abusing Rangers midfielder Kamara
  • He will therefore miss the Czech Republic’s European Championship campaign 
  • Find out the latest Euro 2020 news including fixtures, live action and results here.

Romanian footballer Nicolae Stanciu has revealed he did not take the knee against England on Sunday was because he was supporting team-mate Ondrej Kudela – the Czech international who received a 10-game ban for racial abuse.

Kudela, a team-mate of Stanciu’s at Czech side Slavia Prague, was handed the suspension after he racially abused Rangers star Glen Kamara in the Europa League, and will therefore miss his country’s European Championship campaign. 

And as reported by the Daily Record, Stanciu stated after the 1-0 loss against England that he stood in solidarity with Kudela, who he claimed was punished ‘without any proof’.

Romanian footballer Nicolae Stanciu (centre) has revealed his reason for not taking the knee

Stanciu stood before kick-off in support of Ondrej Kudela, who received a ban for racial abuse

He said: ‘I did the same with Slavia, when I played against Arsenal in the quarter finals of the Europa League.

‘It seems normal to me, and I decided to make the gesture for my colleague from Slavia, for Kudela, who without any proof was suspended for 10 matches after the game against Rangers.

‘Just like that because a team-mate of Kamara’s heard that word that I can’t say. I decided not to take the knee and I don’t think that’s the solution.’

An official investigation found Kudela guilty of ‘racist behaviour’ against Glen Kamara (left)

The incident occurred in Slavia Prague’s Europa League last 16 tie against Rangers in March

Stanciu stated that he stood because his Slavia team-mate was punished ‘without any proof’

The incident between Kudela and Kamara occurred in March, when the centre back whispered something in the Finnish midfielder’s ear during the Europa League last 16 clash, with Kamara and team-mate Bongani Zungu saying they heard a racial slur.

A formal investigation found Kudela guilty of ‘racist behaviour,’ although he denied the accusation, insisting he simply said: ‘You’re a f****** guy’.

In the aftermath, Kamara received a three-game ban after being found guilty of assaulting Kudela in the tunnel after the match, and the 34-year-old launched an appeal after the guilty verdict, although this was dismissed by UEFA in May.

Kudela later received a 10-game ban, meaning he misses Czech Republic’s Euros campaign

Kamara’s lawyer Aamer Anwar said: ‘They should have a minimum one-year ban for players when it comes to this and they should be fining clubs and players substantial amounts so that it damages their pockets.

‘If someone is setting up a Super League, then UEFA will almost move instantaneously and threaten all sorts of sanctions and punishments. But if it comes to racism, it’s very tokenistic. Take the knee, fly the banner, pop up a slogan and think it’s job done. It’s not job done.’ 

Stanciu’s international team-mate, Ianis Hagi, who came on in the 66th minute against the Three Lions, plays club football with Kamara.

England stand-in captain Marcus Rashford (right) scored the only goal in a 1-0 win as England beat Romania in their final warm-up match for the European Championships

The 28-year-old Stanciu was one of two Romanian players to stand rather than take the knee at Middlesbrough’s Riverside Stadium at the weekend, while England players continued to do it despite more booing by sections of the crowd.

England boss Gareth Southgate said in response to the booing: ‘I don’t want to give it any more oxygen than I did yesterday (on Saturday). 

‘We have answered it as much as we can. I have made it clear where the players stand with it. We are a united group. We are going to keep doing it.’ 

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