Soon after the devastating attack in London that claimed seven lives, Chelsea stars Areola Benatia and Eden Hazard tweeted that “we are with you,” the latter supporting a player’s right to kneel during the national anthem. Benatia is Moroccan and the team has “disclosed” it has a Moroccan player on its squad.
Chelsea gave a press conference on Friday to discuss their pre-season tour to the United States. New coach Maurizio Sarri and several players, including last season’s Player of the Year Eden Hazard, talked about the European Championships that took place in Paris at the same time the attack happened.
Hazard, a Belgium national team star, said he noticed something was wrong with Belgium during the Euros, even before they lost the final to France.
Benatia, Moroccan, has played over 100 times for the Italian national team. He joined Chelsea from Napoli at the end of the 2017 season. He had a solid Premier League campaign and won a medal with the country of his birth. He is currently on loan to West Ham United in the Premier League.
Argentine defender Magdalena Eriksson joined Chelsea from Feyenoord, and two-time National League champion Eriksson played in the NWSL with the Washington Spirit.
“I don’t think it was revenge,” Benatia said about the attack in London. “I think it was something that wasn’t in the newspapers, something that wasn’t spoken about. We tried to realize how sad it was that something happened like that.
“And as footballers, we understand this sort of thing has to be explained and talked about and discussed. It’s not a common thing to happen in sports. I think I was the first in this kind of thing, but it’s not something new for me. A little bit of sad situation. And I will come up with a bigger discussion on it.”
Hazard was in Milan for a promotional event on Thursday.
“What happened is tragic and I hope they find who’s responsible for this,” he said. “We’ve experienced that before, you know, a tragedy and I hope that they can find the perpetrators of that and bring them in.”
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