Richie McCormack
Richie McCormack

21.43 8 Jun 2021


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Republic of Ireland manager Stephen Kenny says the booing of his players taking the knee is damaging to Hungary. 

Deafening boos cascaded from the Puskas Arena stands as the Ireland players took the knee to highlight the fight against racism prior to the friendly international in Budapest.

The game ended 0-0.

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Both Adam Idah and Kenny were asked about the incident after the game, with the manager describing the fans' reactions as "incomprehensible".

The Ireland boss feels it was the "right decision" for his players to make the gesture, saying, "I was approached about whether we want to take the knee or not.

"In fact, I approached [FAI International Operations Director] Barry Gleeson and said it's something that we want to do.

"We want to take the knee, and it's an important message. I think it's a very very important message.

"The fact that it was booed is incomprehensible really.

"It must be damaging for Hungary, with the Euros in Hungary.

"It's disappointing, and it doesn't reflect well on Hungary really. Our players wanted to do it, it's [an] important stance, and I commend them for taking that stance".

Hungary indeed host four games during the upcoming European Championships, with Portugal and France both scheduled to visit Budapest.

The city also stages a last-16 game.

"Obviously it's disappointing to see fans in the whole stadium booing us taking the knee," said Corkonian Idah.

"It's for a good cause, trying to stop racism."

He added, "The reaction was very disappointing for us. We weren't expecting that."

"Three of the young, black players are teenagers," Kenny pointed out, "Adam Idah, Gavin Bazunu and Andrew Omabamidele, and also Chiedoze Ogbene came on as well - and was excellent when he came on.

"They all performed brilliantly. I thought Gavin was terrific in goal, and Adam was outstanding - really caused havoc. He was unfortunate he couldn't score.

"They're well capable of speaking for themselves - they're educated individuals - but they're a credit to Ireland.

"They're a credit to the Irish football team. They're going to be a big part of the future of the Irish football team, and we're very proud that they're part of our team."

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Adam Idah Black Lives Matter Euro 2020 Hungary Racism Republic Of Ireland Stephen Kenny

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