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Fans heard boos as players knelt before England’s game with Albania at Wembley

Fans heard boos as players knelt before England’s World Cup qualifying match against Albania at Wembley, as the referee orders kick-off to resume after the away team FORGETS to kneel.

  • England players continue to kneel before kickoff at international games
  • Albania seemed to forget the plan and started while the team was still on its knees.
  • Boos were heard as they knelt, but were drowned out by the applause at Wembley


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Fans were heard booing before England’s clash with Albania at Wembley as the team knelt as their opponents forgot protocol and started before England finished.

The fans were very supportive of the wishes of the England squad who continue to kneel before matches, and boos from some sections of the crowd were silenced as the match began.

However, there was confusion on the field, as Albania seemed to forget England’s plans to kneel before kick-off and started the game before England was ready.

Albania players had to re-kick off at Wembley tonight after they seemed to forget that England players would kneel before qualifying for the World Cup (pictured)

Albania players had to re-kick off at Wembley tonight after they seemed to forget that England players would kneel before qualifying for the World Cup (pictured)

It is unclear if the boos were due to an apparent lack of recognition of protocol or to the England squad being on their knees.

Scott Murphy of The Guardian said: ‘Some boos when England kneel, but only because the visitors forgot England’s pre-match protocol, starting with their opponents on their knees, too fast off the blocks.

Albania replaces the ball and also puts the knee. Warm applause. Then the kickoff that counts. ‘

The kneeling gesture became prominent in soccer after George Floyd, a black American man, was killed by a police officer kneeling at his throat in May 2020.

However, the act has become a subject of controversy among fans with some arguing that it should be left out of the sport, while others believe it is necessary as part of soccer’s fight against racism.

England, who are playing in blue tonight, seemed unfazed by the confusing start to the match as it only took them nine minutes to go 1-0 up.

Harry Maguire put England 1-0 in 10 minutes after heading the ball over the Albanian goalkeeper

Harry Maguire put England 1-0 in 10 minutes after heading the ball over the Albanian goalkeeper

Harry Maguire put England 1-0 in 10 minutes after heading the ball over the Albanian goalkeeper

Harry Maguire led England to the front when he drove in James’ free throw from eight yards.

Less than 10 minutes later, captain Harry Kane headed England’s second goal off a Jordan Henderson cross. The first half strike meant the forward equaled Wayne Rooney’s record for goals in England in competitive international matches (37).

Then came two goals in quick succession for England after Jordan Henderson stormed into the center of the area and hit Kane’s direct pass into the net before the England captain fired the ball hard into the upper right corner, despite that the Albanian goalkeeper got a hand to put England up 4-0.

Minutes before halftime, Kane completed his hat-trick in spectacular style as his acrobatic volley from Foden’s corner swept over Strakosha to make England 5-0 in injury time.

The relatively trouble-free start will have been a relief for England after the chaos that ensued during their last game against Hungary.

The problems started after England players knelt before kick-off in a gesture against racism, and in the Hungarian section of the crowd there was a banner protesting the act of kneeling.

Shocking video from inside the stadium showed crowds of visiting fans clashing with Met Police officers.

Six people were arrested after the chaos, including a fan accused of racially abusing a Wembley manager, who is said to have sparked the violence.

Two more were detained inside the arena on suspicion of scuffling and assaulting an emergency worker.

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