Frank Lampard Determined to play Tammy Abraham for Chelsea after racial abuse

Frank Lampard Determined to play Tammy Abraham for Chelsea after racial abuse


• Abraham missed the decisive penalty in their Super Cup defeat • Lampard believes social media abuse needs to be dealt with

Frank Lampard will not hesitate to play Tammy Abraham against Leicester after the Chelsea striker was the victim of online racial abuse.

Abraham received several abusive posts on Twitter after missing the decisive penalty in Liverpool’s win over Chelsea in the Super Cup on Wednesday but Lampard, who said he was disgusted after seeing the abuse aimed at the 21-year-old, does not plan to remove him from the spotlight by leaving him out when Leicester visit Stamford Bridge on Sunday.

“I think the best thing is for him to move on,” the Chelsea manager said. “But it depends on Tammy for starters and he’s not said that to me and, if he did, the reaction would be not that you’re giving into it. But Tammy is a strong boy. I want to support him. I try to be close to my players. When something like this happens it’s the first thing I do. If there was anything more he needed, then the club would 100 per cent be there for him. He’s getting the support I hope he feels he needs.”

Lampard expressed concern at how players are targeted in the internet age and called on social media companies to do more to tackle abuse on their platforms. In a positive step it has been announced that Kick It Out, football’s anti-discrimination charity, are set to meet Twitter to discuss racism for the first time. “In my day five out of 10 in the Sun was a bad reflection of a performance,” Lampard said. “Now it’s instant. And it’s not a joke. It’s not funny when it becomes hate. That’s where we go far beyond.

“I’m not just talking about Tammy’s situation. It’s far too easy to spout hate casually on these social media platforms. I agree, it’s difficult for the players. This is modern life. They are on social media. I am concerned about it. To say they need to be thick-skinned is too easy to say. When it becomes you and it becomes hurtful, it’s a problem we have to deal with. It’s difficult to say don’t look at it. They’re all on it as soon as they go on the coach. The social media companies, are they ever going to stop someone casually putting up what someone did against Tammy? That’s their responsibility.”

Racism has plagued English football in recent months and Kick It Out has called on the Football Association and clubs to take action after “disgraceful” incidents of reported abuse on the first weekend of the season. There was also outrage this week when Queens Park Rangers’ Under-18 side left the pitch after receiving alleged racist abuse during a recent friendly in Spain.

“I don’t understand why people are on their phones during games anyway,” Lampard said. “Tweeting through the game is a nonsense. Just watch the game. We are trying to change attitudes and there are a lot of paces forward but suddenly there are paces backwards. It’s about the education of people but when they hide behind phones then it is very tough. There’s still plenty of work to do.”

Lampard said he has not decided whether to sell Tiémoué Bakayoko and Davide Zappacosta before the European transfer window shuts and insisted Michy Batshuayi remains part of his plans despite links with Roma.

He hinted Antonio Rüdiger could feature in central defence against Leicester. Rudiger’s return from a long-term knee injury would be a welcome boost for Lampard before his first home game as the Chelsea manager. They opened their Premier League campaign with a 4-0 defeat at Manchester United and conceded twice against Liverpool.

Lampard believes he is on the right track. “What people hopefully saw in the performances, particularly on Wednesday, was a team giving everything and playing good football,” he said, “but now we must win.”

#Source: TheGuardian




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