QPR and Coventry do not take a knee, Mark Warburton criticises lack of guidance from authorities

Mark Warburton has criticised the lack of guidance from football’s authorities after his QPR side and Coventry did not take a knee before Friday’s Championship match.

It is the first time it has occurred during a live televised football game, although QPR also did not take the knee in their opening match at home to Nottingham Forest.

Sky Sports reporter David Craig spoke to representatives of both clubs at St Andrew’s, where each team was offered the opportunity to take a knee during the referee’s pre-match meeting.

Coventry are understood to have been very happy to do so but, after QPR expressed their desire to continue as they did in their opening game, it was decided between both clubs they would not take a knee.

“It would seem QPR have decided internally after discussions between their staff and players, not to take the knee in their games at the start of this new season,” said Craig.

Warburton insisted there was confusion over the best course of action to take and stressed QPR’s strong stance against discrimination.

He told Sky Sports: “Well firstly, QPR does so much work as a community club that wants to fight any form of discrimination at any level, so we will not tolerate any form of discrimination.

“QPR is well recognised for such a stance, so to suggest anything other than that is ludicrous, let me get that point across.

“There’s no directive. It means so much to so many players – all of our players and staff – but there is no guidance from the authorities and we need to know. It can’t be ‘well if you want to do it’.

“We didn’t know. Our players had said ‘Do we keep on doing it? What’s the stance?’

“But as I said, I’m very strong here, we have to be very clear: QPR as a club will fight any form of discrimination and any suggestion of otherwise is outrageous.

“There’s no lack of respect, there’s no lack of awareness of the cause, there’s no lack of awareness for the importance of the cause and how the game needs to change going forward.

“We don’t know and we have to avoid this uncertainty and confusion that causes debate of this nature.”

Coventry manager Mark Robins said: “The decision came from QPR.

“We support the cause 100 per cent. I’d like to be told what the ruling is. If one team says they don’t want to do it then that’s what happens.

“It was a surprise to me. Everybody is behind that movement 100 per cent and are prepared to take the knee without a doubt. I think everybody wants to do it. I don’t think we should be made to do it; I think we should do it to make a statement.”


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