Taking the knee in UEFA EURO 2020 and rules of football

Sports Asked by Hvjurthuk on June 30, 2021

First of all, I kindly ask everybody to leave this out of the politic motivation and center just in sports. This issue is complicated and very personal but my question is just about how the rules of football apply to the situation that performing this protest creates during the game.

Those of us that are following UEFA EURO 2020 can see that some teams decide to take the knee in support to US BLM movement in protest by the death of George Floyd. There are three types of teams regarding this action: teams that always kneel (e.g., England), teams that never kneel (e.g., Hungary) and teams that kneel only if the other does so first (e.g., Switzerland).

I understand that this is a decision of each team in particular (as it has to be by the "fight the system" nature of this kind of protest) and that UEFA or FIFA don’t have any rules for this action yet and therefore, in consequence, what happens in the case that one team decide to kneel is that momentarily we have an ad hoc and de facto decision in tacitly agreeing by both teams and the referee in not playing during this action either you proceed to kneel or not to kneel. As I see it, you are not forced by the rules to not play during this gesture and then a team that chooses not to kneel could see in that gesture a short moment of advantage (maybe if the team in front is stronger) and decide to use it to play in its favor.

It is unlikely that this could happen but, if it does and the team that does so scores a fast goal, then the goal should be legal and the referee would be forced to accept it even when he might not agree with the opportunistic way the standing team decided to follow in order to deal with the situation.

Am I right in my analysis of the situation and the goal would be legal or I am missing something?

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