UEFA back the FA and demand fans show respect to teams taking the knee at the European Championships… as England stars plan to continue the pre-match gesture during the tournament
- England players were booed by own fans ahead of Austria and Romania matches
- England stars were jeered as they took the knee ahead of kick-off in friendlies
- UEFA have now come out to insist that they have zero tolerance of racism
- They also said stars should be free to express their support for greater equality
- The backing from European football’s governing body is a boost to the FA
- Find out the latest Euro 2020 news including fixtures, live action and results here.
The FA have received significant backing from UEFA in their battle to ensure that England’s players can take the knee without being booed, with the organisers of the European Championship urging fans to show respect.
In a statement released to Sportsmail, UEFA insisted they have zero tolerance of racism and players should be free to express their support for greater equality by taking the knee before matches during the tournament.
As Sportsmail reported on Wednesday, the FA have been frustrated by the Government’s refusal to condemn fans who booed England players before their warm-up games against Austria and Romania last week, or even encourage them not to do so, so UEFA’s backing is welcome.
UEFA have backed the FA and urged fans to respect teams and players for taking the knee
England players were booed by their own fans after the gesture in both of the June friendlies
In addition to UEFA’s plea to fans, there will be a series of messages displayed on the big screen at Wembley on Sunday condemning discrimination and asking for the players to be treated with respect.
‘UEFA has a zero tolerance against racism and any player who wants to demand equality among human beings by taking the knee will be allowed to do so,’ a UEFA spokesperson said.
‘We urge spectators to show respect for teams and players taking the knee.’
FA chief executive Mark Bullingham said on Wednesday the booing of England’s players for taking a knee was ‘incredibly disappointing’.
FA CEO Mark Bullingham said the booing of England players was ‘incredibly disappointing’
Bullingham told the BBC: ‘We’ve been clear throughout, this is not a political gesture that the team are making.
‘They are standing up for equality and they are using a gesture that’s been around for hundreds of years and using it just to make a stance against racism.
‘We’re not asking every fan to copy that gesture. We’re just asking them to respect it, and we do expect that they should respect it.
‘They should get behind their team, cheer them on, and let’s have a brilliant Euros with the country getting behind the team.’
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