Scotland U-turn on decision to take the knee and will do so alongside England at Wembley

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Scotland boss Steve Clarke has come under fire – as he led a partial U-turn over his side's decision NOT to take the knee.

A day after confirming his Euro squad would “take a stand” against racism before games, and not kneel, they changed their stance.

They will “kneel against ignorance” but only for clash with England at Wembley.

Clarke and skipper Andy Robertson faced a backlash on Thursday for refusing to join Gareth Southgate's squad in taking the knee as a non-political gesture against racism.

Critics argued their policy of “taking a stand” was the same as lining up for a game and was meaningless, with #scotlandtaketheknee trending on social media.

And the prospect of England stars taking the knee – and risking being booed – with Scotland players standing when they clash at Wembley, added to the tension.

Scotland have U-turned on their decision to take the knee, Steve Clarke has confirmed
(Image: PA)

On Friday Robertson said in a statement: “The Scotland team stands against racism but we will kneel against ignorance and in solidarity on June 18th.

“We have collectively decided to again take the knee as a team for the fixture against England at Wembley Stadium.

"It is clear, given the events around the England national team, taking the knee in this tournament matters as a symbol of solidarity.

"In Scotland, the football family has stood against racism all season. It was our collective view that the national team would do the same.”

Boss Clark hit out claiming Scotland's position has been politicised misrepresented by “divisive and inaccurate comments” adding: “We will continue to take a stand – together, as one – for our matches at Hampden Park.

“For our match at Wembley, we will stand against racism and kneel against ignorance. "

Scotland are in their first tournament finals for 23 years and facing scrutiny and pressure to match the occasion, ahead of their Group D opener against Czech Republic on Monday.

Clarke will hope his side can get back on the front foot and admitted: “You want to be questioned. You want to be under scrutiny and put under pressure.

“I have never been to a major tournament so it is the first time for me. I am sure somewhere along the way I will make a few mistakes but we will learn from them, hopefully very quickly, and we will try to get the points required to get out of the group stages.

“If we can do that then it will be a good tournament for us.”

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Clarke says a win in the first game would be “massive” adding: Normally, three points in recent tournaments can almost guarantee you a place in the last 16. I am excited. It is a great thing for the country that we are involved in a major finals again. I am looking forward to it and I am sure everybody else in Scotland is.

“Anybody who I have ever spoken to and has been at a tournament or worked at one have always been quite strong on the fact that you shouldn’t lose the first game.

“Historically, a lot of the opening Word Cup and European Championship games are draws because both teams realise the value of getting something out of that first game. “It might be cagey, I don’t know, it might open up pretty quickly.

“We will certainly be playing for the three points and I am also sure the Czech Republic will be as well. That would be a great start.

“I am sure the lads will be wishing it is tomorrow. Once you are in the tournament you just want it to start but you have a process to get there, but the sooner it comes the better. Everyone wants it. It has been a long wait since November and we just want to get it started.”

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