Belgium team take knee, Russians stand before Euro 2020 opener


Saint Petersburg (AFP) – The Belgium football team were booed for taking a knee to highlight racial injustice, while their Russian opponents stood before Saturday’s Euro 2020 match in Saint Petersburg.

Boos and jeers echoed around the Krestovsky Stadium as the entire Belgian team, as well as Spanish referee Antonio Mateu Lahoz, knelt before kick-off in the Group B game, while the Russian players remained standing.

Belgium striker Romelu Lukaku, whose parents come from the Democratic Republic of Congo, raised his right fist.

The Belgians are the latest international team to take a knee and England have said they will do the same for their opening game of the European Championship against Croatia on Sunday.

Ex-NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick started kneeling to protest against racial injustice in 2016.

The gesture has become a familiar sight across a range of sports since George Floyd, who was black, was killed by a white police officer in the United States last year.

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  1. Graig Simmons June 13, 2021
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