UEFA gave its support to the English players who knelt down and asked the fans to “show them respect” at Euro 2020.
The Three Lions continued to make the gesture ahead of kickoff to signal their opposition to racism and call for greater equality in society.
The England stars fell to their knees in their first warm-up match against Austria a week ago, but a large part of the fans booed them.
This led to the team calling a meeting to decide whether to win, which they overwhelmingly voted on, with boos heard again when they knee-deep against Romania in their second warm-up.
The boos angered England boss Gareth Southgate, who insisted his players will continue to kneel during the tournament.
“The first thing is that collectively we are very disappointed that this has happened. I think you have to put yourself in the shoes of a young English player who is about to represent his country, ”he said.
“We’re all trying to move towards equality and support our own teammates because of some of the experiences they’ve had in their lives, but people decided to boo.
“The most important thing for our players is that they know that we are totally united on this.
Who wants to win Euro 2020? Comments below.
“We are totally determined to support each other, to support the team, and we believe more than ever that we are determined to get down on our knees throughout this tournament.”
FA chief executive Mark Bullingham also called on supporters to show more respect to those who kneel down.
“We have been clear throughout, this is not a political move the team is making,” he told the BBC.
“We are not asking all fans to copy this gesture. We just ask them to respect it, and we expect them to respect it.
“They should support their team, cheer them on and have a brilliant Euros with the country behind the team.”
The UK government has refused to join Southgate in condemning booing fans, with some Tory MPs even saying they will refuse to support the team due to the players kneeling down.
But the Three Lions have now received a major boost from tournament organizers UEFA, who have reiterated their position of zero tolerance for racism.
The governing body also insisted that players should be free to kneel down to express their supporter for better equality by making the gesture.
UEFA have also confirmed that a series of messages will be displayed in England’s first game against Croatia, calling for players to be treated with respect.
“UEFA has zero tolerance against racism and any player who wants to demand equality between human beings by taking the knee will be allowed to do so,” a UEFA spokesperson told the Daily Mail.
“We urge spectators to show respect to teams and players who kneel down.”