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Scotland will take the knee in solidarity with England before Euro 2020 match at Wembley

·3-min read
 (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

Scotland will take the knee ahead of their Euro 2020 Group D fixture against England at Wembley on June 18, head coach Steve Clarke and captain Andy Robertson have confirmed.

On Thursday, it was announced that Scotland would continue taking a stand - rather than kneeling - against racism before matches this summer, an approach they have adopted since the start of World Cup qualifying earlier this year.

However, a joint statement from Clarke and Robertson released on Friday confirmed after further talks that the team would now take the knee in solidarity with England at Wembley next week.

Scotland will continue to stand against racism before their other group games against the Czech Republic (June 14) and Croatia (June 22) at Hampden Park.

Clarke lamented that some individuals and groups had “sought to politicise or misrepresent” Scotland’s stance on taking a stand against racism, reiterating that they had opted for that approach since March in conjunction with clubs across Scottish football having felt that the kneeling gesture had been “diluted and undermined by the continuation of abuse towards players.”

He added: “For the avoidance of doubt: me, my coaching staff, my players and my backroom team take a stand against racism and all forms of unacceptable and discriminatory behaviour across society. We do so to raise awareness of the ongoing problem but also as a reminder to those who have the ultimate power and responsibility to implement meaningful change.”

Clarke said that the Scotland camp had taken further time to reflect as a group “in light of divisive and inaccurate comments being perpetuated”, reiterating Scotland’s committment to taking a stand but also stressing the need to be “unequivocal in condemning the opportunistic false narrative being presented by some”.

“We have therefore agreed that we will show solidarity with our counterparts in England, many of whom are team-mates of our own players, and who have found themselves on the receiving end of abuse from fans in recent international matches,” he finished.

“We will continue to take a stand – together, as one – for our matches at Hampden Park. For our match at Wembley, we will stand against racism and kneel against ignorance.”

Liverpool full-back and Scotland skipper Robertson said: “Our position was – and remains – that the focus must be on meaningful change to fight discrimination in football and wider society.

“In Scotland, the football family has stood against racism all season. It was our collective view that the national team would do the same.

“Our stance is that everyone, players, fans, teams, clubs, federations, governing bodies and governments must do more. Meaningful action is needed if meaningful change is to occur.

“But it is also clear, given the events around the England national team, taking the knee in this tournament matters as a symbol of solidarity.

“For this reason, we have collectively decided to again take the knee as a team for the fixture against England at Wembley Stadium.

“The Scotland team stands against racism but we will kneel against ignorance and in solidarity on June 18th.”

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