A majority of football fans in Europe supported players and staff taking a knee before games but doubted the gesture's significance in helping tackle racism, a poll out on Thursday showed
MOSCOW (Pakistan Point News / Sputnik - 10th June, 2021) A majority of football fans in Europe supported players and staff taking a knee before games but doubted the gesture's significance in helping tackle racism, a poll out on Thursday showed.
YouGov surveyed more than 4,500 fans across nine European countries in March, and a majority said they supported the symbolic gesture.
Fans in Portugal were the most supportive at 79%, closely followed by Italians at 73% and Spanish at 71%. In Germany, 60% supported players taking a knee. In the United Kingdom, the English were the most supportive (54%) and the Scottish the least supportive (49%).
The Dutch were the only ones split on the issue, with 44% of fans supporting the gesture and 45% opposing it.
When asked whether they thought kneeling was important in helping tackle racism, 76% of the Portuguese said it was very or fairly important, followed by two thirds of Spaniards. In Italy, 57% of fans said it was important, 48% in Germany and France, 47% in the Netherlands, 41% in Wales, 37% in England and 36% in Scotland.
The 2020 UEFA football championship begins on Friday. Professional athletes began taking a knee in June last year after the killing of black American George Floyd. The gesture has recently become controversial, with fans booing the English team as they knelt before warm-up matches with Romania and Austria.