England

Gareth Southgate has 'no idea' why Hungary booed England taking the knee

Matt O'Connor-Simpson
Southgate has been left flummoxed
Southgate has been left flummoxed / Michael Regan/GettyImages
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Gareth Southgate has admitted that he has 'no idea' why Hungary supporters felt the need to boo England taking the knee before the pair's UEFA Nations League meeting on Saturday.

The Three Lions lost 1-0 in Budapest courtesy of a second-half Dominik Szoboszlai penalty, but the occasion was marred by unsavoury jeering before kick off.

The game was initially supposed to be played behind closed doors as punishment for England players being racially abused the last time they visited Budapest for a fixture in September 2021.

But UEFA eventually changed their stance and allowed over 30,000 schoolchildren, parents and guardians to attend the match.

After observing both national anthems without incident, audible jeers could be heard around the Puskas Arena when the England players and officials took a knee before kick off.

Speaking after the game, Southgate admitted he did not know why the action would be booed.

"That's why we do it - to try to educate people around the world," he told Channel 4.

"I have no idea why people would boo that gesture. Very often young people can't know why they're doing it really, so they're being influenced by adults.

"We've made our stand as a team. Everyone knows what we believe and what we stand for. Tonight's the night I've got to focus on the football. When you lose you can't be talking about other areas because I think it would be lack of responsibility for the result."

Centre-back Conor Coady added: "It's massively disappointing. Everyone understands now. We've spoken an awful lot about taking the knee as a country, as a team. It's important people understand why we want to do it.

"You don't want to hear those things but we need to keep keep on doing what we're doing to try and make people talk about the situation. We want to try and keep on pushing that message from out own point of view."


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