Sections of fans at Wembley Stadium cheer for England players to kneel ahead of the European Championship game against Croatia
LONDON: A section of fans at Wembley Stadium on Sunday criticized England players for kneeling ahead of their European Championship match against Croatia.
Those fans could be heard in applause, which came despite pleas from the team to respect the anti-racism gesture. The Croatian players did not kneel as expected.
Some England fans claim taking a knee is a political act, but the English Football Association again said ahead of the team’s opening Euro 2020 match that the gesture is important to them and should be respected.
“They are doing this as a mechanism to peacefully protest against discrimination, injustice and inequality,” the FA said in a statement to fans. This sense of unity and the fight against inequality can be traced back to the 18th century.
It was ridiculed by some fans, who also chanted “no surrender” during the national anthem. It is a dated reference to the conflict of generations that saw Britain vulnerable to terrorist attacks by the Irish Republic Army.
Some of the 22,500 fans allowed at Wembley to sing Croatia’s national anthem also cheered, prompting the country’s football federation to be fined by UEFA.
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