football

Gary Lineker slams ‘classless’ fans booing rival anthems at Wembley



Gary Lineker has called on fans to refrain from booing the Italian national anthem at the Euro 2020 final on Sunday.

The BBC presenter said that the gesture is “disrespectful and utterly classless” and asked fans attending Wembley on Sunday to listen to Il Canto degli Italiani instead.

Some England fans booed the national anthem of previous opponent Germany and last night’s adversary Denmark.

In a Twitter post on Thursday evening, he said: “If you’re lucky enough to get a ticket for the final, please, please don’t boo the Italian anthem.

“A/ It’s an absolute belter and worth listening to. B/ It’s bloody rude, disrespectful and utterly classless.”

It’s not the first time in recent months the former Spurs star has criticised fans after he took umbrage at booing from fans when England stars took the knee.

Players began to take a knee before matches in the summer last year to protest systemic racism.

This action led to jeers from some supporters when England took the knee in friendly matches against Romania and Austria in early June, prior to Euro 2020 starting.

Mr Lineker said on social media: “If you boo England players for taking the knee, you’re part of the reason why players are taking the knee.”

England boss Gareth Southgate has stood firmly behind his players for taking part in the anti-racism protest.

When asked about the booing after the game against Romania, he said: “I sadly sort of expected what happened to happen.

“We’ve accepted that, as a group. It’s not going to stop what we are doing and what we believe. It certainly isn’t going to stop my support for our players and our staff.”

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In a statement Football Association backed Southgate, saying: “There can be no doubt as to why the players are taking the knee and what it represents in a footballing context.

“We encourage those that oppose this action to reflect on the message you are sending to the players you are supporting.”



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