Euro 2020: Croatia players won’t take the knee before England clash

England players have been kneeling ahead of kick-off to protest racial inequality

Alex Pattle@alex_pattle
Friday 11 June 2021 14:48
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Countdown to Euro 2020: Daily briefing

Croatia players will not take a knee ahead of kick-off against England on Sunday when the two nations begin their Euro 2020 campaigns, according to a spokesman for the Croatian Football Federation (HNS).

England players have been kneeling before matches to protest racial inequality, with some supporters booing the gesture and others cheering.

England coach Gareth Southgate said last week that he and his team would continue to take a knee at Euro 2020, regardless of the reaction they receive.

Group D opponents Scotland and Croatia said that they would not be joining the Three Lions in carrying out the gesture over the next two weeks, before the Scots reversed their decision on Friday.

As things stand, however, Croatia are still set to refrain from kneeling, according to Tomislav Pacak, a spokesman for the HNS.

Croatia players did not take a knee before last week’s friendly defeat by Belgium, whose players did kneel.

“The Croatian Football Federation and all members of the national team always and everywhere condemn any form of discrimination,” Pacak said.

“We respect the right of every individual and organisation to choose their position against racism. HNS believes that all players have the right to have an opinion on these issues and choose how to position yourself.

“The HNS respects the position of the members of the national team and will not impose the obligation to kneel on them, which in Croatian culture is not a symbol of the fight against racism and discrimination.”

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