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Gary Neville defends England fans who will boo Italy’s national anthem during Euro 2020 final


Gary Neville has defended fans who will boo Italy’s national anthem at Wembley (Getty)

Gary Neville has defended England supporters who are planning to boo Italy’s national anthem during the Euro 2020 final on Sunday.

England fans have come under fire during the tournament for booing the opposition anthem during every game at Wembley.

UEFA has opened disciplinary action against England for the supporters’ ‘disturbance’ during Denmark’s anthem in the semi final earlier this week.

But Neville, who was capped 85 times by England, has stressed that God Save the Queen was routinely jeered by opposition supporters during his playing days and believes it is just a tactic to ‘unsettle’ the players on the pitch.

‘When I played in the different countries and our NA [national anthem] was booed I always took it as the opposition fans trying to unsettle us, drown our fans out and never as some kind of attack on us as people,’ Neville wrote on Twitter.

‘Same when we did it other teams. Is it really that bad and disrespectful?’

England are facing disciplinary action after their fans booed Denmark’s anthem at Wembley (UEFA via Getty)

However, former England striker Gary Lineker, who has been at Wembley to present the BBC’s Euro 2020 coverage this summer, has urged fans to avoid booing Italy’s anthem this Sunday.

‘If you’re lucky enough to get a ticket for the final, please, please don’t boo the Italian anthem,’ Lineker wrote on Twitter.

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

England’s 1966 World Cup winner Sir Geoff Hurst has joined Lineker in urging fans to show respect during Italy’s anthem.

‘Yes we have seen that sadly over the years, disrespecting the opposition,’ Hurst said on Good Morning Britain.

‘I do sincerely hope that the English fans can behave with great respect.

‘We are talking about another country which is a fantastic country, a fantastic football country, they have got many legends, it is a very good team.

‘I said at the beginning of this tournament, the team that beats Italy will probably win the tournament.’

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