In the international friendly between England and Romania, two players of the away side – Stanciu and Nedelcearu – refused to take the knee as part of English football’s continued fight against racism.
Controversy in England’s last warm up match before Euro 2020. Southgate’s men welcomed Romania to Middlesbrough’s Riverside Stadium, where a few players failed to respect the stand against racism before the match.
To be more exact, Romanian journalist Emanuel Rocu indicates that it was players Stanciu and Nedelcearu who refused to take the knee, when the other 20 players on the pitch were happy to do so.
Stanciu plays his football for Slavia Prague, who have already had their problems in this year’s Europa League season against Arsenal for the same issue. In addition, Ondrej Kudela, another player of the Czech side, was sanctioned for a racist comment in the quarter-finals against Rangers.
Kudela will not be able to play the Euros for Romania due to this incident. UEFA’s disciplinary body condemned the player with a ten-match ban for “racist behaviour” against Rangers’ Glen Kamara. The rebellion shown before the match could be a possible protest to this punishment.
Furthemore, ‘Sky Sports’ indicate that even some England fans booed their own players for taking the knee, a gesture that is now commonplace in the Premier League. “We’re more determined more than ever to confront racism”, said England boss Southgate in the press conference before the match.