CROATIA will reportedly NOT take the knee against racism and inequality for their Euro 2020 opener against England.
While Gareth Southgate’s Three Lions plan to perform the gesture in the Group D clash, Croatia will decline as it is ‘not Uefa protocol’.
Croatia did not take the knee for their friendly against BelgiumCredit: AFP
England will take the knee for games throughout the tournamentCredit: EPA
The Athletic asked further questions on the topic of team spokesman Tomislav Pacak, but he ‘declined to answer’.
Croatia also did not take the knee for their final friendly ahead of this year’s tournament against Belgium.
Pacak told the Croatian media that their stance was in recognition that Uefa is ‘against introducing politics into sport’.
England, meanwhile, will take the knee before all their games in the tournament.
Their two other opponents in Group D, Scotland and the Czech Republic are yet to decide whether they will take the knee this summer.
At the weekend, Scotland boss Steve Clarke said: It’s a conversation I’ll have with the players before we play our first game.
“Then we’ll decide what way we’re going to do it throughout the Euros.”
The Czech Republic opted instead to point at the ‘Respect’ logo on their shirts before a game against Wales in March.
Marcus Rashford has himself being the subject of vile racist abuseCredit: Times Newspapers Ltd
England boss Southgate has told any England fans who boo the team taking a knee this summer that they are making a personal attack on his black players.
Fans have booed as his stars took the knee for the games against Austria and Romania.
Speaking about the jeers, Southgate said: “I heard it, and it’s not something on behalf of our black players that I wanted to hear because it feels as though it’s a criticism of them.
“I think we have got a situation where some people seem to think it’s a political stand that they don’t agree with.
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“That’s not the reason that the players are doing it, we’re supporting each other.
“So, I was pleased that that was drowned out by the majority of the crowd, but we can’t deny the fact that it happened.
“The most important thing for our players to know is that all their team-mates, all the staff are fully supportive.
“I think the majority of people understand it, I think some people aren’t quite understanding the message, and I suppose we’re seeing that across a number of football grounds at the moment.”
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