LONDON: The Football Association has asked fans to not boo England players when they take a knee before their Euro 2020 game against Croatia at Wembley on Sunday.
Premier League players have knelt before matches for the past year as a protest against racism. But England players were booed when they did so in two warm-up matches in Middlesbrough earlier this month.
The FA, in a statement, said: “They will do their best for you. Please do your best for them.
“As the team has reiterated many times, they will collectively take the knee ahead of their fixtures during the tournament.
“They are doing this as a mechanism of peacefully protesting against discrimination, injustice and inequality. This is personally important to the players and the values the team collectively represents.
“This gesture of unity and fighting against inequality can be traced back as far as the 18th Century. It is not new, and English football does not view this as being aligned to a political organisation or ideology.
“There can be no doubt as to why the players are taking the knee and what it represents in a footballing context.
“We encourage those that oppose this action to reflect on the message you are sending to the players you are supporting.
“Please respect their wishes and remember that we should all be united in the fight to tackle discrimination. Together.”
FA chief executive Mark Bullingham has previously called the booing of England’s players for taking a knee “incredibly disappointing”, and said the FA was considering releasing a video message before the match against 2018 World Cup finalists Croatia.