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England booed again for taking the knee at Euro warm-up

Written by on 7 June 2021

England’s football team was today once again booed for taking the knee at a match, as they struggled to a 1-0 victory over Romania in their final Euro 2020 warm-up game.

After a minority booed the stance before Wednesday’s triumphant friendly against Austria, England manager Gareth Southgate on Saturday urged fans to show their support for his squad’s decision to show its solidarity against racism and inequality.

But the jeers returned to Middlesbrough’s Riverside Stadium on Sunday, where an England team in its infancy laboured its way to victory thanks to a penalty scored by captain Marcus Rashford in the second half.

England's Jadon Sancho takes a knee before during the international friendly match at Riverside Stadium, Middlesbrough on Sunday June 6, 2021 Image: Many sports players started to take the knee to highlight police brutality and discrimination in response to the Black Lives Matter movement

“I think I sadly sort of expected what happened to happen,” said Southgate about the behaviour of a small number of the crowd.

He said: “We’ve accepted that, as a group. It isn’t going to stop what we are doing and what we believe. It certainly isn’t going to stop my support for our players and our staff.

“That’s it, we are going to have to live with that. We’ve said what we are going to say now.”

The derogatory chants came from a small number of people in the crowd of 6,952 supporters. The number of fans allowed is slowly growing as coronavirus restrictions lift.

More on England Football Team

The sight of players taking the knee ahead of kick-off has become more common in English football since last summer, designed to highlight police brutality and discrimination as the Black Lives Matter movement took off worldwide following the murder of George Floyd.

England's Marcus Rashford (centre) and Romania's Vlad Chiriches battle for the ball during the international friendly match at Riverside Stadium, Middlesbrough, on Sunday June 6, 2021 Image: England’s Marcus Rashford (centre) and Romania’s Vlad Chiriches battle for the ball

On Wednesday, England will play Croatia in a Euro 2020 opener before 22,500 fans at Wembley. The crowd’s reaction on the night will be broadcast across the continent.

It remains to be seen how many of the players from today’s match against Romania will start against Croatia on Wednesday.

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