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Germany will take the knee in show of solidarity with England – Ilkay Gundogan

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Ilkay Gundogan confirmed Germany would take the knee in a show of solidarity with England after the anti-racism gesture was jeered by stands filled with children in Hungary.

The depressing reaction greeted the stance in Saturday’s Nations League opener at the Puskas Arena, which was half full despite the hosts serving a UEFA punishment for discriminatory behaviour at Euro 2020.

There were around 35,000 in attendance for a match that was supposedly being played behind closed doors as Hungary made the most out of regulations that allowed children to attend in such circumstances.

England players take the knee
England players took the knee before Saturday’s defeat to Hungary (Nick Potts/PA)

Manager Gareth Southgate blamed “inherited thinking” for those jeering when England players took the knee, which they will do so again before Tuesday’s Nations League match at the Allianz Arena in Munich.

Germany joined England in taking the knee before the Euro 2020 last-16 tie at Wembley and Manchester City midfielder Gundogan said they have decided to do so again.

“Well, (on Tuesday), we will go down on our knees together with the English because we want to support this whole initiative,” he said.

“We did this last year at the Euro and, of course, we will do it tomorrow too.

“I’m used to that from the English league, where we do it almost every match so it’s nothing new for me.

“We talked about it inside the team and we will support the opponent.”

Southgate welcomed Germany’s stance, saying: “We’re two nations with huge numbers of mixed-heritage nationals and I think it’s an important sign for everybody, so we welcome that.

“I think they were supportive of the LGBTQ community as well when they played in Hungary last year. I think they were the first team to do that, the captain wearing the (rainbow) armband.

“I think we are united in our beliefs on those things.”

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