England confirm they will take the knee in World Cup opener vs Iran

England have confirmed they will be taking the knee in their opening World Cup group stage game against Iran on Monday.

Much has been made of what steps the Three Lions will take to combat issues surrounding diversity and inequality in Qatar, with team captain Harry Kane already confirmed to be wearing a OneLove armband instead of the standard one.

The act of taking the knee has been largely reduced in the Premier League this season over fears its message and impact had become weakened, but manager Gareth Southgate confirmed in a press conference that his side would be doing so.

“It’s what we stand for as a team,” he explained: “Of course we understand in the Premier League that the clubs have only decided to do that for certain games, big occasions. We feel this is the biggest.”

Southgate added: “We think it is a strong statement that will go around the world, for young people in particular, to see inclusivity is very important.”

The act first came into football during it’s return behind closed doors amid the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, where players and clubs made a stand against racial injustice following the Black Lives Matter movement.

England have kneeled before games continually under Southgate despite the Premier League adopting a more reduced approach to the action.

They kick off their Group B campaign at 13:00 GMT on Monday.

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