Euro 2020 – Scotland to ‘kneel against ignorance’ at Wembley in show of solidarity with England
Scotland will join England in taking a knee ahead of the Group D Euro 2020 fixture at Wembley on Friday 18 June. The Scottish national team, in keeping the policy laid out by the Scottish FA for club teams to follow, have been standing in a show of solidarity against all forms of discrimination. But to avoid any doubt about the message, they will now kneel alongside England at Wembley.
Tyrone Mings of England takes a knee in support of the Black Lives Matter movement prior to the international friendly match between England and Romania at Riverside Stadium on June 06, 2021 in Middlesbrough, England
The Scotland national team have announced that they will kneel along with the England players ahead of the nations’ Euro 2020 meeting at Wembley next Friday.
Scotland had previously said that the policy of the squad was to “stand against racism” throughout the European Championship, in keeping with the collective approach of Scottish football, both in the club and international game.
But aware that not kneeling ahead of the England game could be construed as a gesture of a different sort, Scotland manager Steve Clarke and his squad have announced that they will also replicate England’s protest against racial inequality.
“I am aware that some individuals and groups have sought to politicise or misrepresent the Scotland National Team position on taking a stand against racism and all forms of discriminatory behaviour in our UEFA Euro 2020 matches and, in particular, for our visit to Wembley,” Clarke said in a statement released by the Scottish FA on Friday afternoon.
It is incumbent on me as the Head Coach to reiterate that we have done so from our first FIFA World Cup qualifiers and that it has been done in conjunction with clubs across Scottish football including Rangers and Celtic.
“I explained in March the rationale behind the squad decision: not only is it consistent with the collective approach from Scottish football above but the purpose of taking the knee, to raise awareness and help eradicate racism in football and society, has been diluted and undermined by the continuation of abuse towards players.
“For the avoidance of doubt: me, my coaching staff, my players and my backroom team take a stand against racism and all forms of unacceptable and discriminatory behaviour across society. We do so to raise awareness of the ongoing problem but also as a reminder to those who have the ultimate power and responsibility to implement meaningful change.”
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“In light of divisive and inaccurate comments being perpetuated by individuals and groups, whose views we denounce in the strongest terms, we have reflected today as a group,” Clarke added. “We remain committed to our principles of taking a stand but we must also be unequivocal in condemning the opportunistic false narrative being presented by some.
“We have therefore agreed that we will show solidarity with our counterparts in England, many of whom are team-mates of our own players, and who have found themselves on the receiving end of abuse from fans in recent international matches.
“We will continue to take a stand – together, as one – for our matches at Hampden Park. For our match at Wembley, we will stand against racism and kneel against ignorance.”
Scotland captain and Liverpool left-back Andy Robertson also joined Clarke in making his position known on the issue.
“In Scotland, the football family has stood against racism all season. It was our collective view that the national team would do the same,” Robertson said.
“But it is also clear, given the events around the England national team, taking the knee in this tournament matters as a symbol of solidarity.
“For this reason, we have collectively decided to again take the knee as a team for the fixture against England at Wembley Stadium.”
The game between Scotland and England at Wembley on Friday 18 June will be the second Group D match for each team. The Three Lions open their campaign against Croatia on Sunday, and the Scots kick off their tournament against the Czech Republic on Monday afternoon.