Hungary 1-0 England: ‘Inherited thinking’ to blame for booing of knee, says Gareth Southgate

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 (AFP via Getty Images)
(AFP via Getty Images)

Gareth Southgate believes “inherited thinking” was behind a crowd of predominantly children booing England players taking the knee ahead of their Nations League game with Hungary.

The match at the Puskas Arena was officially behind closed doors, after Hungary were punished for the “racist and discriminatory” behaviour of their fans at Euro 2020, but UEFA rules meant children could attend the game when accompanied by a certain number of adults.

It resulted in a crowd of over 30,000 descending on the 67,000-capacity stadium on Saturday evening, with Southgate calling for UEFA to look at the rules going forward.

When England players took the knee before kick-off as part of their stand against all forms of discrimination and racism they were booed by some sections of the crowd.

Southgate has admitted he was “surprised” by the reaction, but put it down to “inherited thinking” having an influence.

Asked about the stadium being so full when it was a behind-closed-doors game, Southgate said: “How that aligns with the decision is difficult to understand.

“From a development perspective, I want and need the team to be playing in front of supporters.

“But of course that is not the point in this instance, so I am torn on what we actually got from that and actually what the reality should have been. So I think that needs some consideration without a doubt.

“In actual fact the atmosphere when we arrived at the stadium, there were kids lining the streets, it was really friendly. They were waving when we were walking out to warm up, I thought there were pantomime boos when our team came out to warm up, but that was different with the taking of the knee - but that felt like inherited thinking to me.

“What I would say is I hear that still in our stadiums as well. So, that’s why we do it, that’s why we continue to take that stand and we will keeping doing that as a team.

“[I was] very surprised [to hear the knee being booed], but I think that’s why we do it. We do it to try to educate and I think young people can only be influenced by older people.”

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