England face Croatia in their Euro 2020 opener on Sunday, with the England Manager, Gareth Southgate’s side set to take a knee despite facing jeers from some supporters in warm-up fixtures against Austria and Romania.
“Jeering the players is also jeering what the gesture stands for,” Kick It Out and FSA said in a joint-statement on Thursday.
However, Kick It Out and FSA’s initiative had considered chanting before kick-off, with “Kick it out” or “England, England!” both potential options, but the organizations have called on those attending the match to applaud when the referee blows his whistle and the players bend down.
Tony Burnett, Kick It Out CEO, said: “Gareth Southgate and the England players have made their position really clear – they are taking the knee as an anti-discrimination gesture, it is in no way linked to any political organization.
“All of us England fans, myself included, want to see England succeed in the Euros, so we are asking for fans at the games to drown out boos with applause and show the players we are behind them.
“For those fans who have booed or want to boo, we would urge you to think about how that impacts the players – the same players who we want to bring England success in this tournament.
“The real issue we all want to address is tackling discrimination in football, and that is something we can and should all get behind. So let’s support the team, support the players and unite against racism and all forms of discrimination.”
Meanwhile, Southgate and his players remain defiant they will continue to take a knee and have reiterated it is a show of unity in the fight against racial discrimination and social injustice and not politically motivated.