Steven Gerrard: Rangers boss says there is 'no apprehension' of racism ahead of trip to Sparta Prague

Rangers travel to face Sparta Prague in their second Europa League group match on Thursday having been beaten 2-0 by Lyon on matchday one; game takes place six months after Glen Kamara suffered racist abuse in a match against Sparta's rivals Slavia Prague

SNS - Steven Gerrard
Image: Steven Gerrard is unconcerned by the prospect of further racist abuse when his Rangers side travel to Sparta Prague

Steven Gerrard says there is "no apprehension" or fear about his players being subjected to racist abuse ahead of Rangers' trip to face Sparta Prague.

The 41-year-old takes his side back to the Czech Republic for a Europa League tie, six months after midfielder Glen Kamara was subjected to racist abuse by Slavia Prague's Ondrej Kudela.

Asked if he has any concerns about the threat of racism ahead of their trip to face Slavia's rivals Sparta Prague, Gerrard replied: "No, I have spoke to the majority of my players in the last couple of days and we spoke about the game.

SNS - GLASGOW, SCOTLAND - SEPTEMBER 19: Rangers' Glen Kamara is left frustrated at full time  during a cinch Premiership match between Rangers and Motherwell at Ibrox Stadium on September 19, 2021, in Glasgow, Scotland. (Photo by Craig Foy / SNS Group)
Image: Glen Kamara was subjected to racist abuse in a Europa League tie against Sparta's rivals Slavia Prague in March

"Glen (Kamara) and Kemar (Roofe), who were affected from the last game, are in a good place and looking forward. Both want to come and put a performance in for the team.

"There is no apprehension as far as I am concerned. I have had assurances that everything is going to be fine."

Gerrard believes the driver of positive change in football around racism and discrimination must come, first and foremost, from those in positions of power.

SNS - GLASGOW, SCOTLAND - SEPTEMBER 16: Lyon's Jason Denayer (R) clears the ball away from Rangers' Fashion Sakala during a UEFA Europa League group stage match between Rangers and Lyon, on September 16, 2021, in Glasgow, Scotland.  (Photo by Craig Foy / SNS Group)
Image: Rangers are searching for their first points in the group stages after defeat against Lyon in their opening match

"Everyone involved in the game, we are always looking for improvements. We are always looking for the powers that be to step forward and show leadership," Gerrard added.

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"We know that it is not totally out of the game or eradicated, there is still more work and education to be put in place.

"In my position, you can only talk and say certain things and push and support. It is for people who are in higher places than me that can only make the difference and the change."

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