Shane Duffy addresses booing of Ireland players for taking knee before Hungary friendly

Ireland knee boo

The anti-discrimination gesture was met with disapproval from the home fans.

The Republic of Ireland starting XI was showered with boos from Hungary supporters ahead of Tuesday night’s friendly, when Stephen Kenny’s side took a knee prior to kick-off.

In recent days, the booing of players who decide to take part in the anti-discrimination gesture has made headlines in England but on Tuesday, Ireland’s players were the ones whose taking of the knee was greeted with disapproval.

Ireland played out a 0-0 draw in Budapest, with the visitors’ two goalkeepers pulling stunning saves out of the very top drawer to keep Hungary out in either half.

Shane Duffy was named man of the match for his part in Ireland’s clean sheet and after the match, the Brighton centre-half addressed the boos.

“It’s a difficult time for everyone,” Duffy said after the stalemate. “We have our stances on it and we decided, as a nation, that we were going to do it and we stand by that.

“Everyone’s got their opinions but hopefully we made the right choice.”

Ireland players booed for taking knee

England’s players were booed for taking the pre-match knee ahead of friendlies against Austria and Romania over the past week, leading to calls for supporters to drown out the voices of those expressing their disagreement with the gesture in the upcoming Euro 2020 tournament.

Former England defender Rio Ferdinand dismissed suggestions that the knee is a political expression and hit out at those who have booed the pre-match knee that has been seen so often in the Premier League over the past 12 months.

“This stance is about racism, about people being treated the right way and respectfully, and not based on the colour of their skin,” Ferdinand explained on his YouTube show.

“There is no valid reason for booing. They’re meant to be here helping the team, pushing them along.

“The players’ narrative around this is nothing to do with politics so please just support this team, support these players.

“They don’t want injustice, they don’t want people to be judged off the colour of their skin. And they’re kneeling because of that. So why are you booing?”

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