Gary Neville has disagreed with Gary Lineker over the issue of England fans booing the national anthem of their opponents at Euro 2020.
There were 64,950 fans inside Wembley for Wednesday night’s dramatic 2-1 win for Gareth Southgate’s side.
The biggest crowd since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic last March provided a brilliant atmosphere and support for England, who rallied well after going behind for the first time in the tournament.
Roared on by their vociferous supporters, the home side hit back after Mikkel Damgaard’s rocket free-kick gave Denmark a shock lead.
Simon Kjaer’s own goal from Bukayo Saka’s dangerous cross and Harry Kane’s rebound from a penalty in extra-time sent them into Sunday’s final against Italy.
After the full-time whistle England celebrated the historic victory with the fans in jubilant scenes.
However, while the atmosphere was one of the highlights of the occasion, the crowd’s response to the Danish national anthem did draw some criticism.
Boos and whistles were heard as Denmark’s players stood in a line and sang before kick-off and former England striker Lineker called on fans to change their behaviour for Sunday’s final.
"If you’re lucky enough to get a ticket for the final, please, please don’t boo the Italian anthem,” he tweeted on Thursday to his eight million followers.
"A/ It’s an absolute belter and worth listening to. B/ It’s bloody rude, disrespectful and utterly classless."
What do you make of the debate surrounding booing national anthems? Have your say in the comments section below.
Lineker’s comments sparked a debate, with fans and pundits questioning what the etiquette should be during the opponent’s national anthem.
Many agreed with Lineker’s stance, but former Manchester United and England defender Neville weighed in with a different view on Friday morning.
He tweeted: “When I played in the different countries and our NA was booed I always took it as the opposition fans trying to unsettle us , drown our fans out and never as some kind of attack on us as people.
“Same when we did it [to] other teams. Is it really that bad and disrespectful?”
It remains to be seen what the response will be from England’s fans inside Wembley at 8pm on Sunday.
There will be a similar attendance to the Denmark semi-final, with Italy given around 8,000 tickets for England’s first major final for 55 years.
The government has rejected calls to allow a capacity 90,000 attendance at the match ahead of the scheduled easing of coronavirus lockdown restrictions on July 19.
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