Marseille vs Manchester City: Why did Marseille players not take a knee before kick-off?


There were unusual scenes before Tuesday night’s Champions League clash between Marseille and Manchester City at the Stade Velodrome.

As referee Tobias Stieler blew the whistle to start the game, Marseille’s players stood and watched as their Man City counterparts all took a knee.

The act of taking a knee at kick-off has become the norm since the Premier League resumed after the lockdown period in June.

Players, coaches and match officials all took a knee in support of the Black Lives Matter movement.

It marked the league’s endorsement of the international protest campaign which was sparked by the death of George Floyd in May.

The gesture has continued into the 2020-21 campaign.


Before every Premier League match, everyone inside the stadium takes a knee when the referee first blows his whistle. After a 10-second pause, plays starts.

We’re now so used to this happening that the sight of a group of players not taking a knee at kick-off looks a bit odd.


Many viewers were confused - and some were angry - as to why Marseille’s players stood and watched…

So, why did this unusual situation happen?

Well, according to Get French Football News (@GFFN) on Twitter, the custom of taking a knee was never implement in Ligue 1.

Players in France’s top league are not used to taking a knee before kick-off and clearly decided as a group not to copy City’s players.

As for the game itself, City were 1-0 up at half-time thanks to an 18th-minute goal from Ferran Torres.

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