Poland don’t take knee before England clash after Czech Republic also ditched gesture before Wales defeat

POLAND did not take the knee before their England clash after their FA president said the gesture was their 'last topic of interest'.

Players have gone down on one knee across the world ahead of kick-off at sporting matches to highlight the fight against social discrimination and injustice.

It started in support of the Black Lives Matter movement but, particularly among the English game, to champion the No Room For Racism campaign.

And while Paulo Sousa's side opted out, the England team did take the knee ahead of the World Cup qualifier at Wembley.

As reported by Sport in Poland, the Polish FA president Zbigniew Boniek said on Monday: "I do not know if we will kneel with the English.

"So far, this topic has not appeared at the training camp.

"There were so many more important, more dangerous, that this is the last topic that interests us."

Former Poland international goalkeeper Jan Tomaszewski – who was his nation's hero between the sticks when England failed to qualify for the 1974 World Cup – believes the taking of the knee is an idle political gesture and was not necessary for his country.

He told Polish Radio 24: "I do not want to say how our representatives should behave.

"I can say with full responsibility that I would not kneel. I have an eagle on my chest and this does not concern me.

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"In our history, we had no reasons why we should do it now."

Poland – who lined up without injured Robert Lewandowski – instead stood and pointed to the Uefa 'Respect' badge on their sleeves, just as the Czech Republic did in Cardiff on Tuesday.

A statement from the Czech FA said: "Following the events of the last days, weeks, and months, the management of the Czech national football team together with the Football Association of the Czech Republic want to jointly announce that the national team will take a neutral apolitical stance to certain topics that have been resonating in the sports environment.

"This namely concerns the Black Lives Matter initiative, in which some players kneel before football matches.

"To express their support for the fight against racism and other displays of discrimination, xenophobia and antisemitism, the Czech national team will point to the Uefa Respect inscription on the left sleeve of their jerseys, referring to the Uefa campaign of the same name, before the match in Wales.

"The aim of the Uefa Respect program is to work towards unity and respect across gender, race, religion and ability of each individual.

"We believe that everyone should be able to play football, regardless of age, gender, race, or any disability.

"At the same time, we do not tolerate any displays of racism, xenophobia, antisemitism, and other intolerance."

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