Sport Croatia 'will NOT take a knee at Wembley in Euro opener vs England'
The big decisions Southgate must make as he names his England squad
Just 13 days before England's campaign begins against Croatia at Wembley, the manager is poised to cut his provisional squad of 33 players down to size. It will have been a long Bank Holiday weekend for Southgate mulling - even agonising - over the various selection dilemmas still to be resolved. © Provided by Daily Mail ( © Provided by Daily Mail ( But by the end of the day, we will know who's in and who's out for a tournament everyone hopes will culminate with England lifting the trophy at Wembley on July 11.
Croatia's national football team will not take a knee ahead of theiropening match against England on Sunday, according to reports.
's men have vowed to carry out the gesture in their continued stance against racism before every game at the tournament this summer despite boos from fans in their previous two games against Austria and Romania.
They will face off against the Croatians at Wembley Stadium this weekend ahead of a highly-ancitipated tournament opener, but their opponents will remain standing prior to kick off, as reported bywith the country's spokesman Tomislav Pacak indicating that it is not required by UEFA's protocols.
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England manager Gareth Southgate raised eyebrows when he said he knew his starting XI for the Croatia clash on Sunday 'except maybe one'. So, Sportsmail's experts picked their own teams.That 'one' is expected to be in attack, though there are question marks surrounding the line-up all over the pitch.
The world of sport has observed the gesture - popularised by American football player Colin Kaepernick - for more than a year in response to the killing of George Floyd by a white policeman.
However, the knee has been met with a mixed response since supporters have returned to stadiums following the ease of Covid restrictions.
Sportsmail reported on Tuesday that the FA are unhappy with the Government for a lack of support for the England team after jeers were heard at the Riverside Stadium in back-to-back friendlies before kick off.
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CHRIS SUTTON: While England have arguably one of the most talented squads they have taken to a major tournament, Croatia are far from also-rans. Sportsmail columnist Chris Sutton names both his England and Croatia teams ahead of the match and ranks the players on their recent form. England JORDAN PICKFORD - 7/10Made mistakes for Everton, ended Virgil van Dijk’s season with a wild lunge but not done much wrong for England, so he’s No 1.KYLE WALKER - 8Just completed his best season in a Manchester City shirt and, of all the right back options, he should be starting. Rapid and safe.
In a row that could overshadow the game against Croatia, boss Southgate and his players have continued to stress they are united in their desire to keep taking a knee.
The Three Lions coach admitted the booing 'felt like criticism' of his players.
'It's not something on behalf of our black players I wanted to hear because it feels as though it's a criticism of them and insisted they were not making a political gesture.
'I think we have got a situation where some people seem to think it's a political stand that they don't agree with,' he said.
'That's not the reason the players are doing it. We're supporting each other. I was pleased that was drowned out by the majority of the crowd.
England fan in serious condition in hospital after fall from Wembley stands during Croatia game
An England fan is in a serious condition in hospital after falling from the stands at Wembley during Sunday's Euro 2020 game against Croatia, officials have said. © Associated Press Fans are pictured in the stands at Wembley on Sunday. Pic: AP UEFA is investigating after the England supporter fell just after the game kicked off in London at 2pm. © Associated Press Raheem Sterling (L) scored the only goal of Sunday's match.
'We can't deny the fact that it happened. I think the most important thing for our players to know is all their teammates and all the staff are very supportive.
'I think the majority of people understand it. I think some people aren't quite understanding the message. I suppose we're seeing that across a number of football grounds at the moment.'
Meanwhile, Scotland boss Steve Clarke said his players would hold talks about whether or not they will take the knee before deciding their stance for the tournament. His team are Group D, alongside England.
Czech Republic, who are also in the group and face England on June 22, are also yet to decide on their stance, but have previously opted to point to the words 'UEFA Respect' on their football shirts as a mark of solidarity against discrimination.
Taking the knee was at the centre of ugly scenes in Budapest on Tuesday evening when Ireland players were roundly booed by home supporters for adopting the stance.
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The 7,000-strong crowd at the Szusza Ferenc Stadion jeered Irish players, as Hungary players continued to stand - pointing to the 'Respect' logo on the sleeve of their jerseys.
Speaking after the game, Ireland boss Stephen Kenny said: 'The fact it was booed is incomprehensible, really, and it must be damaging for Hungary, with the Euros in Hungary. It's disappointing and it doesn't reflect well on Hungary, really, on Hungarian support. It doesn't reflect well.
'Our players wanted to do it. It's important. It's an important stance and I commend them for taking that stance.'
Euro 2020: England vs Scotland - where the game will be won and lost .
With football's oldest rivals set to face off at Wembley, Sportsmail looks at where the game will be won and lost in what is a pivotal match for both sides after contrasting Euro 2020 starts.For Gareth Southgate's side, another three points following victory over Croatia will all but see them through to the last-16 of the competition and in good shape to progress as group winners.