Tokyo 2020 - Team GB women's football team to take a knee before Olympic games
Great Britain’s women’s football team have announced they will take a knee before their games at Tokyo 2020. Olympic organisers confirmed they have relaxed strict protest rules and will allow athletes to stage peaceful protests before events. "Taking the knee allows us to show the support for people's lives," England captain Steph Houghton said.
Steph Houghton of Great Britain poses for a photo to mark the official announcement of the women's football team selected to Team GB for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic
But the IOC have announced athletes can engage in peaceful protests prior to competition, but warned there will be sanctions for any competitors who protest while on the podium.
A statement said: "The Team GB Women's Football squad have confirmed their intention to take the knee on the field of play ahead of kick-off in their games at the forthcoming Tokyo 2020 Olympic Football tournament in Japan.
"The squad welcomed recent clarification provided by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) in relation to Rule 50 which now permits athletes to make gestures on the field of play, provided they are done so without disruption and with respect for fellow competitors."
Steph Houghton is one of three players who will captain the team at the Olympics and explained the decision to take the knee came after lengthy talks.
"We've been taking the knee in our club matches in the WSL and previous international matches, and we knew as a squad this was something that we wanted to talk about first and foremost - it's not just a quick decision, we've had lots of conversations,” the Manchester City star said.
We've obviously been looking forward to the rule 50 that the IOC have put on the Olympic Games. For us we had to discuss what we wanted to do and it was something that we felt as a squad we wanted to do 100 per cent.
“We had lots of conversations with the BOA, who have been really, really supportive.
"Ultimately for us taking the knee allows us to show the support for people's lives that are effected at this moment in time, and for us to try to improve the discrimination and inequality that is currently not just in football but in the world today.”
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