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England players loudly jeered while taking the knee ahead of Poland World Cup qualifier

England players were met with abuse yet again after taking the knee (Picture: Getty Images)

There were loud boos and whistles from the Warsaw crowd as England players took the knee ahead of their World Cup qualifier against Poland on Wednesday night.

Gareth Southgate’s team were met with the same response in Budapest last week ahead of a clash with Hungary and although they will have hoped for a different reaction in Poland, it was not to be.

The Poland players did not take the knee along with their opponents, but captain Robert Lewandowski pointed to a band on his arm which had ‘respect’ written on it.

The atmosphere in Hungary last week continued to be incredibly hostile throughout the game with England players pelted with missiles over the contest, not just met with abuse at their anti-racism gesture at the start.

Gareth Southgate said after the match: ‘I’m just getting an understanding of what’s happened because we weren’t really aware of it on the bench.

‘So it sounds like there have been some incidents. Everybody knows what we stand for as a team and that’s completely unacceptable. Everything has been reported to UEFA and we have to see what happens from there. There’s no more that this group of players – and all the staff in fairness – could do in the fight against racism. We’re trying to uphold our part of it and other people have got to take the right action to try and make progress.

Poland v England: 2022 FIFA World Cup Qualifier

The England team continues to unite against racism (Picture: Getty Images)

‘I haven’t [spoken to the players yet] because I wasn’t aware of it when I was in the dressing room. But I know our head of security has spoken with the players and has taken their statements. We’ll deal with it in the right way now and through the right channels.

‘I don’t think our players can do anything more than they have done in the last two or three years to get the right messages out, to take the right stands and it is for other people to protect them. It is for me to protect them in the main but for the authorities to protect them as well.’


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