SCOTTISH players called up as part of the Team GB women's football team will take the knee before playing at the Tokyo Olympics this month.

Players in the women's and men's game have been taking the knee as a stance against racism.

The decision follows clarification from the International Olympic Committee that gestures such as this were permitted on the field of play prior to the start of competition, a statement on said.

Rules around athletes protesting at Tokyo 2020 were recently relaxed by the International Olympic Committee (IOC), with athletes able to “express their views” before and after competing, as long as gestures are not “disruptive” and done with the respect of all competitors.

Scottish stars Kim Little, of Arsenal, and Caroline Weir, of Manchester City, have both been called up to play for Team GB – though the lack of Scots has sparked accusations of bias, with critics pointing to the omission of Scottish players such as Chelsea's Erin Cuthbert.

Defender Demi Stokes said: "We know we have a big part to play. It's important we use our platforms to help in any way we can.

"We all feel strongly as individuals and as a team. We all understand what's been going on around racism and discrimination. It is the people that don't have a voice that we are standing up for.

"We want to show to everyone this is something serious. It's still happening. What a way to do it, on an Olympic stage."

READ MORE: 'Good decision': Nicola Sturgeon reacts to Scotland team taking knee at Wembley

Head coach Hege Riise added: "We were all united in our decision to continue doing whatever we can to raise awareness of racism and discrimination in all its forms, standing in unity and solidarity with all those whose lives are affected.

"We are clear that taking the knee is an important symbol of peaceful protest against discrimination, injustice and inequality in society."

British Olympic Association's (BOA) Andy Anson said taking the knee would be "embodying the values of Team GB".

Team GB players and staff approached the BOA with their intention to take the knee and it was relayed to the IOC.

The IOC granted Team GB's wishes under new rules which state athletes will be able to "express their views" before and after competing, as well as when speaking to the media, but cannot do so during events, opening and closing ceremonies, victory ceremonies – on the podium – and at the Olympic Village.

The England men’s team experienced boos from some fans before Euro 2020 when they took the knee before two warm-up games at the Riverside Stadium in Middlesbrough, and again at Wembley in their tournament opener against Croatia.

It prompted manager Gareth Southgate to urge supporters not to boo the anti-racism gesture, although Home Secretary Priti Patel told GB News at the time she does not “support people participating in that type of gesture politics”.

Patel tweeted on Monday morning that she was “disgusted” at the abuse Marcus Rashford, Jadon Sancho and Bukayo Saka received online after the trio missed penalties following the shootout defeat to Italy in the Euro 2020 final.

Given her earlier stance, though, Aston Villa and England centre-back Tyrone Mings posted on Twitter: “You don’t get to stoke the fire at the beginning of the tournament by labelling our anti-racism message as ‘Gesture Politics’ and then pretend to be disgusted when the very thing we’re campaigning against, happens.”

READ MORE: England star 'right' Priti Patel stoked fires of racism, ex-Tory minister says

Riise, meanwhile, has named Steph Houghton and Sophie Ingle, captains of England and Wales respectively, and Scotland’s vice-skipper Kim Little, as the three Team GB captains for the Tokyo Games.

The trio will captain games on rotation through the tournament.

Riise said: “We are fortunate to have so many experienced and talented players in our squad and we think of ourselves as a ‘leaderful’ team, where every individual brings their own leadership strengths to the group.

“However Steph, Sophie and Kim will lead the way on the pitch. This is a very close group on and off the pitch and I have been so impressed how they have all come together.”