Scotland have confirmed that they will not be taking the knee before their Euro 2020 matches but Steve Clarke’s players will continue to promote an anti-racism message ahead of kick-off. It’s the same stance that was taken by the team before their World Cup qualifiers against Austria and Israel back in March.
Scotland take on the Czech Republic on Monday in their Euro 2020 opener at Hampden Park as they look to get off to a good start in Group D.
Their opponents will be missing defender Ondrej Kudela, who is serving a suspension after he was found guilty of racially abusing Rangers midfielder Glen Kamara in their Europa League knockout clash at Ibrox.
Yet while Scotland won’t be taking the knee, the Scottish FA have made it clear they remain committed to fighting the problem that continues to leave a stain on the game.
Their statement read: “The Scotland Men’s National Team will continue to take a stand against racism prior to kick-off for all UEFA EURO 2020 matches.
“The squad, coaching staff and backroom members will stand up to racism ahead of the Group D matches against Czech Republic, England and Croatia.”
Captain Andy Robertson also has explained how his teammates came to the decision, adding: “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.
England were booed by a small collection of their fans ahead of their warm-up wins over Austria and Romania in Middlesborough.
“Our players are role models. And, beyond the confines of the pitch, we must recognise the impact they can have on society,” Southgate wrote for The Players’ Tribune.
“We must give them the confidence to stand up for their teammates and the things that matter to them as people. I have never believed that we should just stick to football.
“I know my voice carries weight, not because of who I am but because of the position that I hold. At home, I’m below the kids and the dogs in the pecking order but publicly I am the England men’s football team manager. I have a responsibility to the wider community to use my voice, and so do the players.”
Meanwhile, the Czech Republic are already concerned about the reception they may receive when they travel to Glasgow for their Group D opener.
Their assistant manager Jiri Chytry has pleaded with the Tartan Army not to show hostility towards his side in the aftermath of Kudela’s ban.
“I hope there is no bad blood between the Czech Republic and Scotland. And I hope there is nothing to be afraid of, because I don’t think we have done anything wrong towards the Scottish fans,” he said.
“As for the Kudela situation, of course it is very unpleasant and it still has to be resolved.
“We would love him to be here but sadly that is not possible. But all our focus is on our performance, our game. Our motivation is still the same, the sporting aspect prevails.
“We are very aware it is going to be an important match, and if we want to advance from the group stage we have to focus on this because it will be very difficult.
“As for the Kudela incident, we have to wait for the final resolution. I hope it will be fair for everyone. But we are going to Scotland to play football.”
This post originally appeared on Daily Express :: Sport Feed