Richie McCormack
Richie McCormack

19.44 8 Jun 2021


Share this article


Republic of Ireland players were booed in Budapest as they took the knee at kick-off in their friendly with Hungary. 

When Polish referee Daniel Stefanski blew his whistle to start the international friendly, Irish players dropped to one knee in unison, adding their support to the fight against racism.

Sadly, their gesture was met with a torrent of boos from a packed Szusza Ferenc Stadion crowd.

Advertisement

Hungary is ruled by far-right president Viktor Orban, who only last week openly admitted to being anti-immigrant, describing Muslim migrants as "invaders".

Budapest hosts three Euro 2020 group games, and a last-16 contest.

The anti-racism symbol has become a lightning rod for protest following the limited return of fans to English stadiums.

Ahead of England's recent friendlies with Romania and Austria, booing rang out across Middlesbrough's Riverside Stadium before being drowned out by a smattering of applause.

"They're taking a knee to highlight the injustices. It's a symbolic gesture to say they stand against that," said former England striker Ian Wright during the Austria game.

"The excuses that they use as to why they're booing are disingenuous.

"The people that we're dealing with, if they can't understand now, with the amount of times the players have explained why they're doing it, you don't need to take notice of those people. They're taking the knee for the right reasons, and that's all that matters.

"They don't want to understand, but the fact is you still have to try and reach those people - you can't leave them."

And in a letter to England fans, manager Gareth Southgate wrote, "It’s clear to me that we are heading for a much more tolerant and understanding society, and I know our lads will be a big part of that.

"It might not feel like it at times, but it’s true. The awareness around inequality and the discussions on race have gone to a different level in the last 12 months alone.

"I am confident that young kids of today will grow up baffled by old attitudes and ways of thinking."

Controversy After England Players Take The Knee In Support Of Black Lives MatterCatch the full chat by pressing the Play button on this page.


Share this article


Read more about

Euro 2020 Gary Linekar Hungary Ireland Republic Of Ireland Stephen Kenny Take The Knee Taking Of The Knee Viktor Orban

Most Popular

Live: Title

Now playing

00:00:00 / 00:00:00
Added to queue
Removed from queue

On Air

Share

Share


Up next

Episode title
Show
Duration

You currently have no podcasts in your queue.

Go to podcasts

On Air

The Hard Shoulder

The Hard Shoulder

16:00-19:00

Share

Up next

OFF THE BALL

OFF THE BALL

19:00-22:00

Share

SPLANC

SPLANC

22:00-00:00

Share

BEST OF NEWSTALK

BEST OF NEWSTALK

00:00-07:00

Share

IN CASE YOU MISSED IT

IN CASE YOU MISSED IT

07:00-08:00

Share

NEWSTALK BREAKFAST WEEKENDS

NEWSTALK BREAKFAST WEEKENDS

08:00-09:00

Share

THE HOME SHOW WITH SINEAD RYAN

THE HOME SHOW WITH SINEAD RYAN

09:00-10:00

Share

DOWN TO BUSINESS WITH BOBBY KE...

DOWN TO BUSINESS WITH BOBBY KERR

10:00-12:00

Share

FUTUREPROOF WITH JONATHAN MCCR...

FUTUREPROOF WITH JONATHAN MCCREA

12:00-13:00

Share

OFF THE BALL

OFF THE BALL

13:00-17:00

Share

TECH TALK WITH JESS KELLY

TECH TALK WITH JESS KELLY

17:00-18:00

Share

SCREENTIME WITH JOHN FARDY

SCREENTIME WITH JOHN FARDY

18:00-19:00

Share

00:00:00 / 00:00:00

Share on