Italian football players will not take the knee before their team’s Euro 2020 game against Austria at Wembley Stadium on Saturday. The decision not to make the symbolic gesture against racism is reportedly aimed at avoiding a repeat of what happened before Italy played Wales in Rome on Sunday, when five Italian players took the knee but others stood.
Corriere della Sera reported that neither Italy nor Austria had notified Uefa that their players would be taking the knee before the match. Enrico Letta, the former prime minister, criticised what happened against Wales. “Watching on Sunday, with all the Wales players kneeling and only [five] of the Italian players doing it, it was not a good image.”
Amid the criticism, Paolo Corbi, the Italy team’s communication chief, said: “On behalf of the entire squad, we reaffirm that we are against all forms of racism. Adhering or not to a form of protest, a symbolic one at that, does not mean ignoring the fight against racism.”