Italy’s former Prime Minister slams the six players, including Chelsea star Jorginho and PSG’s Marco Verratti, who failed to take the knee before Euro 2020 clash with Wales and admits it was ‘not a good image’ for Roberto Mancini’s men
Italy players who failed to take the knee before the win over Wales have been criticised by the country’s former Prime Minister Enrico Letta.
Five of the players who started the 1-0 victory – Federico Bernardeschi, Emerson Palmieri, Rafael Toloi, Andrea Belotti and goalscorer Matteo Pessina – observed the gesture along with the entire Wales side.
But the other six – Gianluigi Donnarumma, Leonardo Bonucci, Alessandro Bastoni, Jorginho, Marco Verratti and Federico Chiesa – chose not to do so, sparking the anger of Letta, who served as Prime Minister from April 2013-February 2014.
Italy players including Gianluigi Donnarumma (right) who failed to take the knee before the win over Wales have been criticised by the country’s former Prime Minister
Five players joined the entire Wales team but six players including Jorginho (back) chose not to
Andrea Belotti (left) took the knee but PSG midfielder Marco Verratti opted against doing so
‘I appeal to our players to take the knee all together,’ said Letta. ‘Five took the knee and the others didn’t – frankly, it was not a good spectacle.
‘If they can all agree on the tactical plan in the dressing room beforehand, maybe they can do the same about taking the knee. It’s a positive gesture. Looking at it on Sunday, with all the Wales players kneeling and only half the Italian players doing it, was not a good image.’
England have taken the knee throughout the tournament and have been booed by some, as they were in friendly matches prior to Euro 2020. Before the 0-0 draw with Scotland at Wembley last Friday, the boos were largely drowned out by applause.
England defender Tyrone Mings said: ‘We have our own set of beliefs and what we think we can do to help and there will be players that can be influential and can stand up for what we believe in.’
That has sparked the anger of Enrico Letta, who served as Prime Minister from 2013-2014
England have taken the knee throughout the tournament and have been booed by some