England players take knee ahead of San Marino qualifier

England v San Marino – FIFA World Cup 2022 – European Qualifying – Group I – Wembley Stadium
(Image credit: Adam Davy)

England players and staff took the knee ahead of their World Cup qualifier against San Marino at Wembley.

The Three Lions had made the pre-match gesture in the previous international break but it was unclear whether they would continue to do so this time around.

Taking the knee was introduced following Project Restart in an attempt to raise awareness of the battle against racism, but a number of players and clubs have since opted out.

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It had not been confirmed in the build-up to Thursday’s game if England would continue with the gesture, with discussions taking place among the squad on the eve of the match.

But, after a period of applause in memory of Glenn Roeder, Frank Worthington, Colin Bell and Peter Swan, the players took the knee – as did the San Marino contingent.

Speaking ahead of the game, manager Gareth Southgate told ITV Sport: “We’re going to take the knee.

“I think we’re unanimous on the bigger issues. We’re a very tight team and we are conscious that there’s a little bit of a perception that perhaps the impact is waning a bit.

“But we don’t see a better way of broaching the issue at the moment and we feel it’s important as a country that they see our national football team united.”

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