England players were once again booed by some of their own fans before Sunday’s final Euro 2020 warm-up game; Gareth Southgate reiterates England’s players will continue to take part in anti-racism gesture
Sunday 6 June 2021 21:00, UK
England players were again met with boos from some fans before their final Euro 2020 warm-up game against Romania at the Riverside Stadium despite a pre-match plea to support their decision to continue taking a knee.
Audible jeers were again heard ahead of the second England friendly to take place at Middlesbrough's ground in the last four days before sections of applause broke out.
All but two of Romania's players joined the England starting line-up in taking a knee before the match started.
Gareth Southgate said on Saturday the England squad were "more determined than ever" to take part in the anti-racism gesture despite the jeers ahead of the friendly win over Austria on Wednesday.
"I don't want to give it any more oxygen than I did yesterday (Saturday)," Southgate told Sky Sports News after the 1-0 win courtesy of captain Marcus Rashford's second-half penalty.
"We have answered it as much as we can. I have made it clear where the players stand with it. We are a united group. We are going to keep doing it.
"We understand the reaction might be as it was today, but it is not going to stop us. I don't want to talk about it in any more detail now."
The England manager said at his pre-match press conference his players had "had enough" of being called on to explain their show of solidarity and added the squad would ignore any "adverse reaction".
Jordan Henderson, who made his return from injury as a second-half substitute against Romania, said: "The lads are sick of talking about it. We know what is right and stand together against racism and that is the end of the story."
Speaking on Saturday, Leeds midfielder Kalvin Phillips said he was "confused and disappointed" that some fans had booed the taking of a knee - an act which has taken place at games since the latter stages of the 2019-20 season.
Southgate said the squad would not continue to take questions on the subject should boos continue to persist during this summer's major tournament.
England open their Euros campaign against Croatia on June 13 at Wembley.