Ben Cabango: Wales and Swansea defender says taking a knee before games ‘shows we’re making progress’

Ben Cabango: Wales and Swansea defender says taking a knee before games ‘shows we’re making progress’

Wales defender Ben Cabango hopes other countries will look at Wales taking a knee before games and see that they are “going to make change”.

Wales get their Euro 2020 campaign underway against Switzerland on Saturday, with the Football Association of Wales confirming the players will take a knee before kick-off at the Baku National Stadium.

Cabango is happy that the Welsh team have taken the decision “as one” and hopes other teams will see that the gesture is still a symbol for change.

“It’s good to be all as one and take that knee because it shows we’re making progress,” Cabango told Sky Sports News.

“I know a lot of teams have decided not to do it, but as Wales, we decided to do it because we want to make change and hopefully all the other countries are looking at us like we are going to make change.”

There were no boos heard when players took a knee prior to the friendly between Wales and Albania

Despite pleas from Gareth Southgate to respect the anti-discrimination gesture, a small section of fans were heard booing as England players took a knee during their final Euro 2020 warm-up game against Romania on Sunday.

There were no boos heard when Wales did the same before their game against Albania, but Cabango says even if there are boos heard in Azerbaijan this coming Saturday it won’t deter the team.

“It just is what it is these days, there’s not much more I think we can do,” he said.

“I can see we’re trying to do positive steps towards it, but with some people I just don’t think there’s any change in them.


Wales trained in Baku on Tuesday morning ahead of their opening Euro 2020 match against Switzerland on Saturday

“If it does happen, we’re going to take it, hopefully try and move on from it, but it’s doesn’t look like we can change their opinions.”

Cabango received racially-motivated social media abuse following Wales’ 1-0 victory over Mexico in March, and says while it’s “hard to get change” when it comes to racism, the response from elsewhere in the game made him proud.

“Straightaway after the Mexico game I got all the boys messaging me asking how I was,” he said.

“Even Swansea and all the staff at Wales here, they were all just so helpful with it.

“The kind of person I am, they knew it wasn’t going to affect me so it wasn’t that much of a big deal.

Wales Training Session - Vale Resort
Wales' Ben Cabango during the training session at the Vale Resort, Hensol. Picture date: Monday May 31, 2021.
Ben Cabango says he is ‘proud to be Welsh’ after seeing the response to the abuse he received

“Racism still happening in these years is just not on, but it’s so hard to get change, I do understand that, because of how stubborn or how narrow-minded some people are.

“The boys have just been helpful, so have the staff. Everyone did what they could do to try change it.

“The way they’ve all been so helpful and respectful about everything – I’m just proud to be Welsh.”

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