Match of the day will continue to show teams kneeling despite some players not making a move

Game of the day will continue to show teams taking the knee despite an increasing number of players choosing not to perform the gesture

  • Match of the day will continue to show teams kneeling every week
  • More and more players choose not to perform the gesture
  • Marcos Alonso, Wilfried Zaha and Ivan Toney no longer take the knee each

Match of the Day will continue to show teams kneeling each week despite an increasing number of players choosing not to make the gesture.

The BBC’s flagship football program and match on Day 2 showed players kneeling down during every highlight of this season.

A spokesperson for the broadcaster said he viewed taking the knee – which some say has political overtones – as “part of the current football narrative”.

Match of the day will continue to show Premier League players kneeling every week

Chelsea defender Marcos Alonso highlights badge

Chelsea defender Marcos Alonso highlights ‘no room for racism’ badge on shirt instead of knee

Last month, Chelsea left-back Marcos Alonso joined a number of top-flight players who opted to stand while others kneel during the pre-match ritual.

Alonso said he believed the gesture was “losing its force” while Wilfried Zaha of Crystal Palace refused to do so as he felt the players should “stand up” in the fight against racism.

Brentford striker Ivan Toney has missed a knee this season because of what he saw as a lack of action in English football to combat racism.

Collectively, the Premier League clubs have sought to present a united front in preparation for the kick-off but, further up the football pyramid, the picture has become more divided.

Crystal Palace's Wilfried Zaha (left) and Brentford's Ivan Toney (right) both fail to take the knee

Crystal Palace’s Wilfried Zaha (left) and Brentford’s Ivan Toney (right) both fail to take the knee

Twelve league clubs did not kneel before last Saturday’s games, three more than the last round of games in August.

Two of the eight League One clubs in action on Saturday – Sheffield Wednesday and Bolton Wanderers – remained on their feet ahead of their game against each other. Of the 11 Ligue 2 matches on Saturday, 10 teams remained standing before kick-off.

The latest figures mean that more than a third of the 72 clubs in the Football League are currently not on their knees before kick-off.

The Czech Republic players opted not to kneel before their World Cup qualifier against Wales in Prague on Friday night.

Page’s side, who fought back to claim a 2-2 draw, were booed by the home crowd as they stood up after kneeling before kick-off. Page had said ahead of the game that his players were prepared to step aside if they encountered any form of racism.

The Czech federation said its national team would adopt a “neutral and apolitical position” by taking the knee. Azerbaijan also failed to knee ahead of their game against Republic of Ireland.

Czech Republic players missed knee ahead of World Cup qualification against Wales

Czech Republic players missed knee ahead of World Cup qualification against Wales

The gesture has strong ties to the leftist movement Black Lives Matter which gained international notoriety last year.

Footballers said they saw the move as apolitical and simply a demonstration of their support for the fight against racism.

A BBC spokesperson said: “The Match Of The Day editorial brief aims to cover all aspects of the Premier League. Ongoing anti-racist statements made by all teams are an important part of the current football narrative.

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