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Euro 2021: Georginio Wijnaldum demands a strong hand from UEFA against racism

The captain of Netherlands, Georginio Wijnaldum, said on Thursday that the decision to leave a football field if there are racist insults should not fall on the players and stressed that it would be up to UEFA to suspend the match.

“UEFA should be there to protect the players on the pitch, it should make the decision for the players (…). UEFA should have a leading role and they should be the ones to say: ‘yes this passes, the game is suspended ‘”, Wijnaldum said in press conference with the Dutch concentration.

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The black striker of Paris Saint-Germain and former player of Liverpool He said that he has never received racist insults from the public on the field of play, but acknowledged that he has wondered what he will do if it happens to him when he is on the field in Budapest, next Saturday against the Czech Republic for the round of 16.

French forwards Kylian Mbappé, whose father is of Cameroonian origin, and Karim Benzema, with Algerian ancestors, had to hear monkey screeches from the Budapest crowd in the second qualifying match against Hungary.

“I have never experienced that feeling and I hope I never feel it … I don’t know how I would react. At first I thought I would not leave the field, but now I think differently,” Wijnaldum added.

The captain of the “Oranje” insisted that “in those moments you have to approach the referee with your teammates and make the decision.”

“But I think everyone agrees that it is UEFA that has to protect the players,” he stressed.

The player also referred to the rainbow bracelet that he will wear in Budapest in support of LGTBI rights. He explained that it was a proposal from the Dutch Federation that he felt comfortable with.

“Everyone should be free to be who they are,” said the 30-year-old footballer.

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