Euro 2020: Boos drowned out by applause as England take the kneeon June 13, 2021 at 2:22 pm

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Boos are drowned out by prolonged applause as England’s players take the knee before their opening Euro 2020 game with Croatia.

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Boos on Sunday were met by an ovation from other members of the 22,500 crowd.

Before Euro 2020, England boss Gareth Southgate said his players were “more determined than ever” to take the knee.

BBC Sport’s chief football writer Phil McNulty, who is at Wembley, said there was “still booing from a large number of England fans” as the players took the knee before kick-off.

He added: “But the jeers were also met with a response of loud and prolonged applause. Mixed reaction.”

Speaking to BBC Sport shortly before the Croatia match, Southgate said: “We want that support [from fans], we know we will have it during the game.

“Whatever happens before is for individual people to decide but we know what we are doing and our focus is totally on the football.”

Former England defender Rio Ferdinand, speaking on BBC One before the match, said: “The fans should know that the players and the manager have come out multiple times now and told you what the reasons are behind taking the knee.

“It’s not political. Put that aside now and come and support the boys. This is the start of the tournament. We all want England to do well. Support them and applaud them.”

On Saturday, the FA released a statement asking fans not to boo the players after they were jeered during two warm-up matches in Middlesbrough earlier in the month.

“They will do their best for you. Please do your best for them,” the FA said.

“We encourage those that oppose this action to reflect on the message you are sending to the players you are supporting.”

FA chief executive Mark Bullingham has called the booing of England’s players for taking a knee “incredibly disappointing”.

Meanwhile, England’s Group D rivals the Czech Republic announced on Sunday they “do not intend” to take the knee during Euro 2020.

They will start their campaign against Scotland on Monday at Hampden Park (14:00 BST)

Scotland will join England in taking the knee when the teams meet at Wembley on 18 June, but will stand against racism in their home group matches.

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