The FA has urged the nation to get behind England’s bid for Euro glory by respecting the right of Gareth Southgate’s men to take the knee.
England kick-off their campaign against Croatia at Wembley, with fans divided over the gesture.
The Three Lions players insist it is a show of support to the fight against racism and not a political statement.
Now the governing body of English football has taken the unprecedented step of issuing an official plea calling on supporters to respect the decision of the team wearing the three lions.
Southgate’s side were booed for taking the knee before both of their warm-up games in Middlesbrough.
The statement says: “Tomorrow, our England senior men’s team will begin their Euro 2020 campaign at our home, Wembley Stadium.
“Major tournaments don’t come around often and when they do, it’s an opportunity to unite friends, families and the country.
“This collective support is what spurs our team on during challenging moments and it gives them the best chance of succeeding.
“As the team has reiterated many times, they will collectively take the knee ahead of their fixtures during the tournament.
“They are doing this as a mechanism of peacefully protesting against discrimination, injustice, and inequality. This is personally important to the players and the values the team collectively represents.
“This gesture of unity and fighting against inequality can be traced back as far as the 18th century.
“It is not new, and English football has made it very clear that it does not view this as being aligned to a political organisation or ideology.
“There can be no doubt as to why the players are taking the knee and what it represents in a footballing context.
“We encourage those that oppose this action to reflect on the message you are sending to the players you are supporting.
“Please respect their wishes and remember that we should all be united in the fight to tackle discrimination. Together.
“They will do their best for you. Please do your best for them.”
There will be 25,000 fans inside Wembley for the clash with Croatia and FA chiefs are hoping those lucky supporters will give England’s pre-match gesture their full respect.
Southgate has stood steadfastly behind his players’ right to take the knee – and now he has been backed to the hilt by his employers.
England also face Scotland and the Czech Republic at Wembley in the group stages.
The Scots have already confirmed that they will be taking the knee as a show of support and solidarity.
And with millions of people watching on television, the hope is that those fans lucky enough to get tickets for the games will keep their counsel even if they don’t agree with the stance the players are taking.