‘We won’t stop’: Conor Coady says England will continue taking the knee before games after young Hungary fans booed the anti-racism gesture with Three Lions boss Gareth Southgate left dismayed by the abuse
Conor Coady says England will continue taking the knee before matches despite the anti-racism gesture being booed by a crowd of schoolkids in Hungary.
Over 30,000 youngsters attended Saturday night’s UEFA Nations League fixture at the Puskas Arena in Budapest but some jeered the England players as they took the knee just before kick-off.
The match was supposedly to be played behind closed doors as punishment for racism by Hungarian fans at previous games.
England defender Conor Coady says the team will continue to take the knee before games despite the anti-racism gesture being jeered by a crowd of mainly schoolkids in Budapest
Hungary fans booed the England team for taking the knee during their Nations League fixture
But their Football Association exploited a loophole in UEFA regulations that allows kids inside the stadium, with one adult permitted for every 10.
England lost the match 1-0 following a sluggish performance which didn’t bode well ahead of tougher games against Germany and Italy.
Wolves defender Coady said on talkSPORT: ‘We heard it. We’ve spoken about it now enough as a team, we’ve spoken about it enough as individuals, whether it be at our club, whether it be playing for our country, we’ve spoken up about it.
‘We understand I hope people understand why we’re doing this sort of things now.
‘This won’t stop us from doing it in the future. It’s not something that will stop us.
‘We hope people understand what we’re trying to do and then message we’re trying to create – and that won’t stop.
Over 30,000 spectators were able to attend on Saturday, mostly children, in Budapest
Harry Kane (left) and Mason Mount take the knee before kick-off but boos could be heard
‘The majority of people take it really well and the majority of people really back us and support us in terms of what we’re trying to do, and we won’t stop doing that now.
‘People take it in a different way, but it’s important we don’t stop and stop our beliefs moving forward.’
England manager Gareth Southgate was left dismayed that such a young audience would boo the gesture.
Southgate said: ‘I was very surprised. I thought that’s why we do it, to try to educate. I think young people can only be influenced by older people.
England boss Gareth Southgate said that the boos proved why his side continue to take a knee, hopeful that they can educate young supporters
‘The atmosphere when we arrived at the stadium, there were kids lining the streets they were really friendly, they were waving when we were walking out, there were pantomime boos when the team came out to warm up, that was different with the taking of that knee.
‘That felt like inherited thinking to me. And I hear that still in our stadiums as well.
‘That’s why we do it, that’s why we continue to take that stand and we will keep doing that.
‘On a day like today, when we haven’t won the game and haven’t played well enough it’s probably better for me to take criticism rather than talk about that.’