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Manchester United striker Romelu Lukaku has called for a meeting between Facebook and Twitter chiefs and soccer stars and social media users.
Lukaku said he supports the actions of soccer players doing the “peaceful things” while talking to fans on social media.
The 25-year-old urged Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey to meet with him and Manchester United’s chief executive officer Ed Woodward and Facebook’s chief operating officer Sheryl Sandberg in order to “understand how important football has become in our society and what footballers and social media users are doing to promote equality and be positive”.
He said: “I respect the action of the clubs and players who take a positive action in using social media to create awareness of the need for equality and be positive.
“I agree with your tweet ‘young players are the future of sport’ and I think that if this generation of youth use their power and influence to promote change then the message of equality will spread.”
“It’s great to have the chance to sit down with the heads of the companies who operate the social media platforms with me, football players and fans and we will get a clearer understanding of how important football has become in our society and what footballers and social media users are doing to promote equality and be positive.”
He added: “My main message is that if you are given the chance and don’t use your social media platforms to create negativity you will go a long way towards becoming role models that the young generation will look up to.
“We as footballers and social media users need to educate these young people and hopefully they will then be empowered to be better and better in all walks of life.”
Lukaku’s comments came in response to the decision by English soccer’s governing body to ban England and Chelsea midfielder Ruben Loftus-Cheek for three matches after he made “offensive and abusive” comments about Liverpool winger Mohamed Salah on social media.
Loftus-Cheek, 20, expressed his support for Croatia captain Luka Modric after his team’s World Cup-winning success and also wrote: “I love you, Mo.”
Salah came in for criticism on social media for a show of support for Modric after his own heroics in the World Cup final in July – seven months after the Egyptian scored the decisive penalty against Portugal to clinch Egypt’s first major soccer title.
Loftus-Cheek’s match ban means he will miss games against Crystal Palace and Swansea.
He could yet be dismissed from Facebook when the account was taken over in September.