England WILL take the knee in World Cup opener against Iran, Gareth Southgate confirms, as Three Lions look to make ‘strong statement’ on inclusivity

    Gareth Southgate has revealed that England plan to take the knee before their World Cup opener against Iran on Monday.

    The Three Lions made the gesture in 33 matches in a row after football resumed following the COVID shutdown.

    England will be taking the knee in their World Cup opener against Iran

    Getty

    England will be taking the knee in their World Cup opener against Iran

    Southgate says that he wants to send a strong statement to the watching world

    Getty

    Southgate says that he wants to send a strong statement to the watching world

    This came after the death of George Floyd in 2020 which sparked a worldwide movement spearheaded by Black Lives Matter.

    The Premier League also took the knee following football’s return, but this term it was decided that selected matchdays over the season would see players take the knee as opposed to every match.

    England didn’t take the knee during September’s international fixtures, but with Qatar’s human rights record firmly under the microscope during the World Cup, Southgate has confirmed that they’ll be taking the stance in the hope of promoting inclusivity to young people.

    Speaking to the press, Southgate said: “We have discussed taking the knee.

    “We feel we should. It’s what we stand for as a team and have done for a long period of time.

    “Of course, we understand in the Premier League that clubs have decided to only do that for certain games, big occasions, we feel this is the biggest.

    The Three Lions have made their stance on inclusivity very clear ahead of the competition in Qatar

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    The Three Lions have made their stance on inclusivity very clear ahead of the competition in Qatar

    “We think it is a strong statement to go around the world for young people in particular to see that inclusivity is very important.”

    Listen to full commentary of England vs Iran live on talkSPORT on Monday, kick-off 1pm.

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