The Italian Football Association expressed its rejection of the criticism leveled at the first-team players after some of them refused to bend on one knee to express anti-racism during the match against Wales in the European Cup “Euro 2020”.
Five of the Italian national team players joined the Wales national team in bending on one knee against racism and discrimination before the two teams’ match on Sunday in Rome, while the rest of the Italian national team did not participate in the initiative.
A spokesman for the Italian Football Association said on Tuesday: “Not all players were ready at that moment, the team will make a unified decision before such events in the future.”
Next Saturday, the Italian national team will meet its Austrian counterpart in the round of 16 at Wembley Stadium.
The Federation spokesman stressed that the team is fighting racism in all its forms every day, and added: Not participating in such symbolic acts does not mean that we do not support the fight against racism.
And earlier, Gabriel Gravina, president of the Italian Football Association, said that it is the right of each individual player to decide whether he wants to participate in this initiative or not.
For his part, former Prime Minister Enrico Letta stressed that all players should bend on one knee to express their opposition to racism.