Scotland’s players opted against taking the knee before their Euro 2020 opener against the Czech Republic on Monday, with both teams instead deciding to stand.
Unlike England at Wembley on Sunday afternoon, Steve Clarke’s side stood with their hands behind their backs, deciding not to partake in the anti-racism gesture before their 2-0 defeat at Hampden Park.
That is expected to change on Friday, though, after Scotland confirmed last week that they will join England by kneeling ahead of kick-off at Wembley in the two sides’ second match.
Scotland’s players stand with their hands behind their backs before kick-off at Hampden Park
Fans watched on ahead of the Czech Republic game as both sets of players stood silently
That decision was welcomed by Scotland’s first minister Nicola Sturgeon, who tweeted: ‘From kick-off at Wembley next Friday, Scotland and England will be the fiercest of opponents – but before that, the players will unite in solidarity against racism.
‘Good decision, Scotland – well done!’
There was initially some confusion over whether Scotland would or wouldn’t kneel, with the team initially saying they wouldn’t for any matches, before U-turning to confirm they will join follow England’s lead next Friday.
England knelt on Sunday and Scotland will join their opponents in London on Friday evening
Nicola Sturgeon had tweeted her approval of Scotland’s players taking the knee on Friday
Speaking about the change of plans, the team’s captain Andy Robertson said: ‘Our position was – and remains – that the focus must be on meaningful change to fight discrimination in football and wider society.
‘In Scotland, the football family has stood against racism all season. It was our collective view that the national team would do the same. Our stance is that everyone, players, fans, teams, clubs, federations, governing bodies and governments must do more. Meaningful action is needed if meaningful change is to occur.
‘But it is also clear, given the events around the England national team, taking the knee in this tournament matters as a symbol of solidarity.’
The act of taking the knee has become a huge talking point at this summer’s European Championship, with teams holding meetings to discuss whether they will kneel or stand.
Spain’s players have been urged to stand rather than kneel ahead of kick-off against Sweden
There were some boos from the stands at Wembley on Sunday, but they were drowned out
Poland’s players are reportedly in two minds having held a team meeting to discuss the anti-racism gesture ahead of their game against Slovakia this afternoon.
Spain, meanwhile, who take on Sweden tonight, have received a backlash from their fans who have threatened to boycott the tournament if the players kneel.
The phrase ‘If they take a knee, turn off the TV’ was trending across Spain on Monday morning, with supporters urging their players to continue to stand.
Spain have never previously kneeled before kick-off and it is expected they will not change their approach going into the tournament.