Which Euro 2020 teams have taken the knee and will Denmark kneel against England?
6th July 2021

EURO 2020 is into its final week and one new feature of the competition has been the differing stance teams are taking against racism.

England were embroiled in a row before the tournament, with the players condemning fans who booed them taking the knee in the warm-up games against Austria and Romania.

And manager Gareth Southgate said the players are even more determined to take the knee following the booing.

Here are the gestures each of the 24 teams will be making during the tournament.

Which teams are taking the knee at Euro 2020?

England

England have continued to take the knee during Euro 2020, as they've been doing since the murder of George Floyd last year.

The team have stated that they believe the gesture is not a political one and designed simply to show support for racial equality.

Gareth Southgate said: “I think we have got a situation where some people seem to think it is a political stand that they don’t agree with.

"That is not the reason the players are doing it. We are supporting each other."

Wales

Wales have taken the knee over the past year and continued to do so throughout Euro 2020.

Interim manager Rob Page said: “We had a meeting and we all think it’s still important to take the knee.

"That’s the message we’ve given out. We’re all in it together and there were no issues.”

Belgium

Belgium were the only non-British team to take the knee throughout Euro 2020.

Romelu Lukaku said of any negative reactions: “I don’t care. I fight for diversity.

"Not only for the black community, also for the women. Colour, sexuality, faith, it doesn’t matter. Everybody should be respected."

Which teams have not taken the knee at Euro 2020?

Hungary

The Hungarian FA were the first association to confirm they would not take the knee at Euro 2020.

In a statement they said they view the knee as a political gesture in defiance of Uefa and Fifa rules.

It read: "The basic values ​​of the sport are equal opportunities, respect for the teammate and the opponent.

"Football may have become the most popular sport in the world because it belongs to everyone.

"The Hungarian national team not only follows the international rules and norms in all cases, but also pays tribute to everyone – be it an opponent, a fan or anyone else.

"MLSZ has been fighting all forms of hatred for years as part of the 'Hate is not a track' campaign.

"The rules of UEFA and FIFA do not allow politicization on the pitch and in the stadium either, which the MLSZ not only accepts but also agrees with.

"The national team will not express its condemnation of any form of hatred by kneeling before the matches."

During their warm-up game against Ireland, Hungary pointed to the Uefa Respect logo on the sleeves of their shirts while the Irish team took the knee and were booed by a sizeable portion of the 15,000 crowd.

The gesture is thought to be hugely unpopular with a core group of Hungarian supporters, who marched to the Puskas Arena before Hungary's game against France with an anti-kneeling banner.

Croatia

England's first opponents at Euro 2020 did not take the knee in any of their matches.

However, they did point to the Uefa Respect badge on their shirts against the Three Lions.

An official statement read: "CFF and the players are against any form of discrimination.

"But the FA provides the players with the right to choose, as the act itself isn't a part of Croatian culture and heritage.

"The players chose not to kneel down before the Belgium [friendly] game, but they've taken a respectful stance towards the gesture made by their Belgium colleagues."

Denmark

England's semi-final opponents took the knee against the Three Lions last autumn, but have not done so at any of their Euro 2020 matches.

When they played Wales and Belgium, the Danish players remained standing but applauded their opponents for performing the gesture.

Russia

Russia did not take the knee in any of their Euro 2020 games.

The crowd in St Petersburg were also heard booing the Belgian team, who chose to kneel against the Russians and Finland, when they played in the city.

 

Holland

The Netherlands did not take the knee in any of their games.

Captain Georginio Wijnaldum commented: "We have talked about that but we decided not to do this.

"We're trying to bring attention to the issue in a different way. Actually, only the players who play in England are used to this [kneeling]."

However, Holland did take a political stance in favour of LGBT rights when they face Czech Republic in the Hungarian capital Budapest.

Hungary's government has proposed a controversial constitutional amendment banning promotion of homosexuality to minors.

In that game, captain Georginio Wijnaldum took to the field in an armband with the words 'One Love', to support to the LGBT community.

In World Cup qualifiers, the Dutch have also worn t-shirts supporting improved conditions for migrant workers in 2022 World Cup host Qatar.

Austria

Despite taking the knee in a warm-up game against England, Austria did not take the knee in any of their Euro 2020 games.

In his press conference before the last 16 game against Italy, captain David Alaba said the Austria team is in favour of kneeling and would do so if asked.

However, neither team requested to take the knee or performed the gesture when the Austrians faced Italy at Wembley.

North Macedonia

North Macedonia did not take the knee in any of their Euro 2020 games.

Ukraine

Ukraine have not taken the knee in any of their Euro 2020 games, did not do so against England and have made no statement about the gesture.

Audible boos were heard when England took the knee during the quarter-final in Rome but it is not confirmed which set of fans they were coming from.

Czech Republic

Czech Republic did not take the knee in any of their Euro 2020 matches.

When they played England, they decided to point to the Uefa Respect logo in their sleeves on that occasion as a "neutral, apolitical gesture".

The Czechs have also been angered by the ten-game suspension Uefa handed down to defender Ondrej Kudela after he was found to have racially abused Rangers' Glen Kamara.

Midfielder Tomas Soucek, who does take the knee with West Ham, told Czech media:

"At West Ham, everyone asked me about it and why he said it [to Kamara].

"And I fought for Ondrej all the time. I believe that he did not tell him anything racist, no one proved anything about him.

"Yet a lot of people in the UK condemned him and he received a heavy sentence of 10 matches from UEFA. I found it absurd. I know him so well that I can't imagine him saying anything racist.

"I see how sensitive the British are to racism every day. Two cultures collide because we think a little differently than they do.

"Of course, it's right they want to fight racism, but sometimes they go to such extremes that, in my opinion, it's counterproductive.

"It's hard for me to understand and I tell myself that when they go looking for racism in everything, they can never get rid of it completely. On the contrary, they are harming themselves.

"Our little girl goes to nursery here and when she goes to draw something on a blackboard, she can't say that the blackboard is black or white – both could be interpreted as racism.

"Slowly, one is afraid to say anything so as not to offend or slander someone. And I think that's wrong."

However, Soucek later issued a tweet to say his comments had been "misunderstood".

Spain

While some La Liga players have shown solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement, the Spain team have never taken the knee and their clubs also tend not to.

Real Madrid did not take the knee against Chelsea, Liverpool or Manchester City while Villarreal chose not to kneel against Man Utd in the Europa League final.

When Granada played Man Utd, only Brazilian winger Kenedy took the knee.

Spain have not taken the knee in any of their Euro 2020 games so far.

Sweden

Sweden did not take the knee at any of their Euro 2020 games.

Poland

Poland did not take the knee in any of their Euro 2020 games.

The gesture has been criticised by both the Polish FA president and sections of their support.

The Poles refused to kneel against England and instead pointed to the Uefa Respect logo on their sleeves.

Polish FA President Zbigniew Boniek labelled the gesture "populism" that "achieved nothing" and said:“I am absolutely against such actions.

“Footballers sometimes kneel, and if you asked some of them why they were kneeling, they wouldn’t even know."

Slovakia

Slovakia did not take the knee in any of their Euro 2020 games.

The Slovaks took the knee against Ireland and Scotland last October but were criticised in the Slovakian parliament.

After this, the country's FA said the players had only taken the knee because they believed Uefa had instructed them to do so and would no longer perform the gesture.

France

France took the knee in their first warm-up friendly against Wales but not in their second one against Bulgaria.

The French team were expected to kneel throughout Euro 2020 but changed their mind at the last minute.

Les Bleus were criticised in some sections of the French media after kneeling against the Welsh.

And captain Hugo Lloris said after the opening game against Germany: "It was a collective decision.

"We assume that if we have to do it, all the nations must do it with the support of UEFA.

"This is the case in Premier League, where the movement is united. In this competition, it is less the case.

"This does not mean that we do not support the cause, we especially do not want racism in our sport and in society."

Another France player said anonymously: "The truth is that players were concerned about the fierce reaction to the gesture, and felt that it was dividing more than uniting."

Which teams are taking the knee in some Euro 2020 games?

Scotland

Scotland stars originally said they would NOT be taking a knee prior to their Euro 2020 matches.

The Scottish FA confirmed they will continue to promote an anti-racist message by standing before matches.

But just a day later, they decided to do so in their match against England only.

Scotland skipper Andy Robertson said: “It is important we continue to tackle the issue of racism and raise awareness of the need to change people’s mindsets but also their behaviours.

“Prior to our World Cup qualifiers in March we spoke as a group and felt that taking a stand was the best way for us to show solidarity and also to reinforce the need for meaningful change in society.”

As per their announcement, Scotland did not kneel against the Czech Republic and Croatia at Hampden but did against England at Wembley.

Italy

Italy were not thought to be taking the knee in any of their Euro 2020 games.

In their opening two matches against Switzerland and Turkey, neither team performed the gesture.

And when Wales took the knee in Rome, the Italians initially kicked off the match as normal.

However once the referee called them back, five players did take the knee – Rafael Toloi, Federico Bernardeschi, Emerson Palmieri, Andrea Bellotti and Matteo Pessina.

Following that confusion, vice-captain Leonardo Bonucci said Italy would in future take the knee if the opposition choose to do so.

He commented: "If in fact the opponents were to choose to kneel in that case the team would do the same, kneel, out of respect for the sensitivity of the opponents.

"This is where the group chose a line.

"After all, it could happen very soon: if all goes well, already in the quarterfinals he could meet Lukaku's Belgium, which has made its own flag with messages against racism.

"Belgium would kneel and Italy would follow them. Without taking a position of its own, but sharing that of whoever they will face."

All eleven players then took the knee against Belgium.

The Italian FA then released the following statement: “As Chiellini explained, the team will kneel in solidarity with the opponents.

“Not for the [Black Lives Matter] campaign itself, which we don’t share.

"The Austrian players didn’t kneel and ours remained standing. If those from Belgium do so, ours too will in solidarity with them.”

Turkey

Turkey did not take the knee in their opening match against Italy or their third game against Switzerland but did in their second game against Wales.

Switzerland

Switzerland did take the knee in their opening Euro 2020 game against Wales but did not in their second game against Italy or their third game against Turkey.

Finland

Finland did not take the knee in their first two Euro 2020 games against Denmark and Russia, but did in their third game against Belgium.

Portugal

Portugal did not take the knee in any of their group games.

However, Cristiano Ronaldo led the team in performing the gesture before their last 16 defeat to Belgium.

Germany

Bundesliga players took the knee after the murder of George Floyd last season but the national team did not kneel in any of their Euro 2020 group games.

However, the Germans did choose to take the knee when England performed the gesture at Wembley.

Captain Manuel Neuer said: "We stand for tolerance and against any form of discrimination.

"We want to show solidarity with the England team so we will be taking the knee as well.

"We are happy to join them in doing so and did not need long to make that decision."

Germany have also been active in supporting a number of political causes.

Like Holland, the German team has demonstrated for better conditions for migrant workers in Qatar.

And during Germany's match with Hungary, the Mayor of Munich saw his request to light the Allianz Arena in rainbow colours rejected by Uefa on grounds of potential politicisation of football.

However, thousands of Germany fans responded by attending the game wearing rainbow flags while captain Manuel Neuer wore a rainbow armband.

And midfielder Leon Goretzka celebrated by making a heart gesture in front of the Hungarian fans after equalising in the 2-2 draw.

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