Team GB football squad to take the knee

Hosts: Tokyo, Japan Dates: 23 July-8 August
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Great Britain’s women’s football squad will take the knee before their games at the Tokyo Olympic Games this month.

Earlier this month, it was announced rules around athletes protesting at Tokyo 2020 had been relaxed by the International Olympic Committee.

Team GB head coach Hege Riise said the squad “were all united” in their decision to make the gesture.

“We are glad that the IOC have acknowledged the importance of this form of freedom of expression.”

Players in the women’s and men’s game have been taking the knee to highlight racial injustice.

She added: “We were all united in our decision to continue doing whatever we can to raise awareness of racism and discrimination in all its forms, standing in unity and solidarity with all those whose lives are affected.

“We are clear that taking the knee is an important symbol of peaceful protest against discrimination, injustice and inequality in society.”

British Olympic Association’s Andy Anson, added: “By taking the knee our women’s football side are embodying the values of Team GB.”

The Football Association says it “welcomed recent clarification” provided by the IOC.

Under the new rules, athletes will be able to “express their views” before and after competing but cannot do so during events, victory ceremonies and at the Olympic Village.

Last month, England men’s international Tyrone Mings said the team wanted to “educate and inform” in response to criticism from Home Secretary Priti Patel for taking the knee.

The England players were booed by some fans for making the gesture prior to their Euro 2020 opener against Croatia at Wembley.

Three captains named

The FA also confirmed Scotland’s Kim Little, Wales’ Sophie Ingle and England’s Steph Houghton have all been named as captains of the Team GB squad.

Each player will wear the armband on rotation throughout the tournament.

Scotland vice-captain Little and England skipper Houghton are also captains at their clubs Arsenal and Manchester City respectively, while Ingle, who plays for Chelsea, wears the armband for Wales.

Team GB’s first group game is against Chile on 21 July in Sapporo.

The squad flew out to Japan to begin preparations at a training camp in Yokohama last week.

Midfielder Little wore the armband during a behind-closed-doors friendly against New Zealand on Wednesday, which Team GB are believed to have won 3-0external-link.

Team GB will also face Japan and Canada in Group E. The top two teams will advance to the quarter-finals, as well as the best third-place finishers.

Team GB fixtures graphic

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