Poland decide NOT to take the knee before England clash at Wembley

Poland players decide NOT to take the knee before World Cup qualifier with England and point to UEFA ‘Respect’ badge on shirts instead… after FA president claimed the gesture was the ‘last topic that interests us’

  • Poland players did not take the knee before the World Cup qualifier with England
  • The players opted to point to their UEFA ‘Respect’ badge instead of kneeling 
  • Poland chief Zbigniew Boniek said kneeling was the ‘last topic that interests’ us
  • The decision follows a similar gesture made by the Czech Republic in Wales

Poland chose not to take the knee before Wednesday’s World Cup qualifier with England after the country’s FA president described the gesture as ‘the last topic that interests us’. 

England players opted to take the knee just seconds before the match at Wembley kicked off, with the visiting players choosing to point to the ‘Respect’ UEFA badge on their shirts instead of joining in.

The move comes a day after Czech Republic players pointed at the same part of their match shirt as Wales players took the knee before Tuesday’s World Cup qualifier in Cardiff. 

Poland players did not take the knee before Wednesday’s World Cup qualifier with England

Polish players pointed towards the ‘Respect’ UEFA badge on their shirt instead of kneeling

Polish FA president Zbigniew Boniek claimed earlier this week that the conversation over whether the country’s players would take the knee at Wembley had not been arranged as of Monday. 

Boniek told Polish news outlet SPORT: ‘I do not know if we will kneel with the English. So far, this topic has not appeared at the training camp.

‘There were so many more important, more dangerous, that this is the last topic that interests us.’

Meanwhile, the Czech Republic FA decided to take a ‘neutral stance’ before the Wales match amid recent controversy surrounding national team defender Ondrej Kudela. 

The move comes a day after a similar gesture by Czech Republic players at Wales on Tuesday

The Slavia Prague defender was accused of making a racial slur towards Rangers midfielder Glen Kamara before a Europa League fixture earlier this month, with UEFA investigating the matter.

Slavia had advised Kudela not to travel to Cardiff but the defender still travelled to Cardiff and started Tuesday night’s fixture, which ended in a 1-0 victory for Wales.

A Czech FA statement before the game read: ‘Following the events of the last days, weeks, and months, the management of the Czech national football team together with the Football Association of the Czech Republic want to jointly announce that the national team will take a neutral apolitical stance to certain topics that have been resonating in the sports environment.

‘This namely concerns the Black Lives Matter initiative, in which some players kneel before football matches.

The Czech FA made a statement amid controversy surround national team defender Ondrej Kudela (second left) over his alleged racist abuse towards Glen Kamara (left)

‘To express their support for the fight against racism and other displays of discrimination, xenophobia and antisemitism, the Czech national team will point to the Uefa Respect inscription on the left sleeve of their jerseys, referring to the Uefa campaign of the same name, before the match in Wales.

‘The aim of the Uefa Respect program is to work towards unity and respect across gender, race, religion and ability of each individual.

‘We believe that everyone should be able to play football, regardless of age, gender, race, or any disability. At the same time, we do not tolerate any displays of racism, xenophobia, antisemitism, and other intolerance.’

England took the knee before all three of the World Cup qualifying matches this month, with the vast majority of teams across UK football sticking with the pre-match gesture over the course of the season. 

England have taken the knee before all three World Cup qualifying matches this month

However, some teams and players across UK football have decided to stop taking the knee for various reasons.

Championship side Brentford joined west London rivals Queens Park Rangers in stopping the pre-match gesture, while Crystal Palace winger Wilfried Zaha is also standing instead of kneeling before matches.

Rangers announced before this month’s Old Firm derby that they would not be taking the knee for their clash at Celtic after the incident involving Kamara and Kudela. 

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