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Premier League captains to decide whether to take the knee this season
The anti-racism gesture has been a regular feature of English football since the summer of 2020 but some Championship clubs have now decided to stop.
Premier League captains will meet again this week to make a decision over whether to continue taking the knee before matches during the upcoming season.
The anti-racism gesture has been a regular feature of English football since the summer of 2020 and was viewed as a crucial symbol in the sport’s fight against discrimination.
Its importance has been regularly debated and certain clubs, most recently Sky Bet Championship sides Bristol City and Swansea last week, have decided to stop taking the knee.
A meeting between the 20 Premier League captains took place on Thursday with the topic of whether to keep taking the knee debated but after a wide variety of views, no final decision has been made and another get together is pencilled in for this week, the PA news agency understands.
The Premier League are understood to be happy to support the players in whatever choice they decide, but a decision is expected imminently with the top flight set to get under way on Friday when Crystal Palace host Arsenal.
What will definitely return during the upcoming term is players walking out together again and able to shake hands or fist bump. The coronavirus pandemic saw shaking hands stopped in a bid to prevent the spread of the virus but it will be part of the pre-match ritual again.
The 2022-23 campaign is set to be another unique season with a five-week break during November and December while the World Cup in Qatar takes place.
A return to Premier League action is pencilled in for Boxing Day but steps have been taken by the league to ensure player welfare is the top priority and no team will be asked to play twice within 48 hours during the three-match rounds between December 26 and January 2.
Premier League clubs who have a number of players still in England have been granted permission by FIFA and the competition to arrange low-key friendlies during this period too, but they are not to clash with World Cup fixtures.
The World Cup being in December means the league have moved when they will dedicate a round of fixtures to the Rainbow Laces campaign.
It usually occurs in the final month of the year and during the closest date to Rainbow Laces Day but two match rounds will be dedicated to the LGBTQ+ campaign on October 22-23 and 29-30.
The Premier League will also hold two No Room for Racism campaigns during the first half of the season on September 8-9 and 15-16.