FRANCE abandoned plans to take the knee before their Euro 2020 clash with Germany — because of fears it was divisive.
The decision by the World Champions has significance in England, where a debate over the controversial anti-racism gesture continues to rage.
France had planned to go down on one knee before Tuesday’s game against Germany in Munich, which they won 1-0.
But players were troubled by arguments in the media before the game, so decided to abandon the gesture.
"It was a collective decision," said Hugo Lloris, the France captain who also plays for Tottenham Hotspur.
Discussing taking the knee, Lloris said that it was supported by all Premiership clubs, but this was not the case in the UEFA-organised Euro 2020.
"We assume that if we have to do it, all the nations must do it with the support of UEFA,’ said Lloris.
"This is the case in Premier League, where the movement is united. In this competition, it is less the case.
"This does not mean that we do not support the cause, we especially do not want racism in our sport and in society."
Another France squad member, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said: ‘The truth is that players were concerned about the fierce reaction to the gesture, and felt that it was dividing more than uniting.’
Far-right politicians in France have been critical of the knee taking, saying it was deliberately provocative.