Soccer-Netherlands team will not take knee before Euro 2020 opener
Netherlands will not take the knee ahead of their European Championship opener against Ukraine on Sunday, captain Georginio Wijnaldum said on the eve of the game.
The Netherlands will not take the knee ahead of their European Championship opener against Ukraine on Sunday, captain Georginio Wijnaldum said on the eve of the game. He said it was a team decision not to join Belgium, world champions France, England and Wales in stating plans to kneel before kickoff to highlight racial injustice.
"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," Wijnaldum told a news conference. "Actually, only the players who play in England are used to this," added the midfielder, who is leaving Liverpool for Paris Saint-Germain when his contract expires on June 30.
"It was quite difficult because we also want to contribute to this discussion. But we are with the Dutch football association who have started a project against racism." The start of the Euros has been overshadowed by off-field conflict over the anti-racism gesture which was started by American NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick and popularised by the Black Lives Matter movement.
Soccer's European governing body UEFA said it was up to each team to decide whether to take the knee and to inform the referee in advance of a match, a move away from its long-standing stance of opposing political protests. (Writing by Mark Gleeson in Cape Town; Editing by Ken Ferris)
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