UK women’s football team to kneel at Games-Sports News, Firstpost

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The Olympics begin next week with Great Britain opening their group stage campaign against Chile in Sapporo, then welcoming Japan, Canada and Chile.

People walk past the Olympic rings installed by the Nippon Bashi Bridge in Tokyo. PA

The British women’s football team will kneel before the start of the Tokyo Olympics.

Players have taken an anti-racist stance with their separate teams over the past year and the IOC has relaxed its rules this month to allow Olympic athletes to make such gestures of protest on the playing field at the Tokyo Games.

“It is people who have no voice that we stand for,” said UK defender Demi Stokes, who has previously spoken of racial abuse. “We know we have a big role to play. It is important that we use our platforms to help in any way possible.

“We want to show everyone that this is something serious. It’s still happening. What a way to do it, on an Olympic stage.

The decision was made after a team meeting before flying to Japan. The four nations that make up Britain typically play football as separate teams internationally, but they are allowed to compete in the Olympics, qualifying through England’s run to the Cup semi-finals. of the female world 2019.

“I feel lucky to be part of a group that wants change to stop racism, discrimination and stand in solidarity with those who have been affected,” British striker Ellen White said on a video call from the Japan. “This whole group had the same message. And we want to try to help this change by taking the knee. I’m really confident that we will do that will promote the change.”

The Olympics begin next week with Great Britain opening their group stage campaign against Chile in Sapporo, then welcoming Japan, Canada and Chile.

“Unfortunately, it’s not easy for people to live freely based on the color of their skin, the gender they choose to be or who they choose to be with in life,” said babysitter Carly Telford. “This is a huge opportunity to show the world that people can be whoever they want.”

England’s men have knelt before all of their matches at the European Championship, although some fans and politicians have publicly disagreed with them.

“We are clear that taking the knee is an important symbol of peaceful protest against discrimination, injustice and inequalities in society and we are pleased that the IOC has recognized the importance of this form of freedom of expression,” British coach Hege Riise said.

“We will do so with the utmost respect for our fellow competitors, officials and the IOC, respecting the ideals that are at the heart of the Olympic movement.”

Great Britain opted for three captains throughout the tournament to represent the team’s three nations: Steph Houghton (England), Sophie Ingle (Wales) and Kim Little (Scotland).


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