United Kingdom

Argentinian referee takes the knee before Scotland's match against Croatia but NO players follow

An Argentinian referee has taken the knee ahead of Scotland's clash with Croatia - despite no players following his lead.

Fernando Andres Rapallini, the first non-European official in the Euros, dropped down on one leg ahead of kick off.

But he was left in the lurch as footballers from both national sides remained standing at Hampden Park.

Meanwhile the England team continued their anti-racism gesture before the match against the Czech Republic.

But their opponents remained on their feet during the brief move ahead of kick off at Wembley.

Fernando Andres Rapallini, the first non-European official in the Euros, dropped down on one leg ahead of kick off

Mr Rapallini blew his whistle before taking the knee during the final Group D clash in Glasgow.

Players from Scotland and Croatia remained standing and the 43-year-old quickly got back to his feet.

The referee is the first non-European to take part in the European Championships and is from Argentina.

He was born in La Plata, tje capital city of Buenos Aires province, which has just under 1million people.

Mr Rapallini has been an approved Fifa ref since 2014 and took charge of his first international match when Chile played El Salvador in June 2015.

He has been behind the whistle for some of the biggest finals in Argentina and is seen as one of the best in South America.

Mr Rapallini blew his whistle before taking the knee during the final Group D clash in Glasgow

He refereed the 2013 and 2018 Argentina Super Cups, the 2017 Argentina Cup final as well as the 2019 Argentina Super League Champions Trophy.

His role in Euro 2020 is down to an exchange programme between Uefa and Conmebol - the South American Football Confederation.

Spanish referee Jesus Gil Manzano will go to South America to ref in Copa America games during the summer.

Uefa president Alexander Ceferin said: 'The exchange of referees with CONMEBOL for our two flagship tournaments will enrich both competitions, and will enhance the experience of top referees.

'Europe and South America have so much football quality and tradition, including in refereeing.

'This exchange is a defining part of our cooperation programme, which will help us improve our competitions.'

Conmebol president Alejandro Dominguez added: 'Among our permanent objectives at CONMEBOL is making our referees more professional and perfectly trained for the use of technological tools.

'We are convinced that a cooperation with UEFA in this field will greatly benefit both confederations. This is just the beginning.

'We will continue working to broaden and strengthen collaboration agreements with our friends at UEFA.'

So far in the tournament Mr Rapallini refereed Ukraine versus North Macedonia, which saw both sides win penalties and miss them.

Meanwhile England players all took the knee as expected before their match against Czech Republic.

England players all took the knee as expected before their match against Czech Republic

Stars including Harry Kane, Jack Grealish, Raheem Sterling and Bukayo Saka dropped down on one leg ahead of kick off

Stars including Harry Kane, Jack Grealish, Raheem Sterling and Bukayo Saka dropped down on one leg ahead of kick off.

But their Czech Republic opponents tonight remained standing during the brief move.

In contrast to recent games, booing and jeering from the 22,500-strong crowd appeared to have lessened.

During the move before the Scotland versus England game last week fans erupted from the stands in fury at what some see as a political gesture.

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