England captain Harry Kane and head coach Gareth Southgate again support the ‘OneLove’ anti-discrimination campaign but accept it will have limited impact in Qatar.
On Wednesday, it was announced that Britain would join forces with nine other European countries in a campaign against discrimination. Originally initiated by the Netherlands, the OneLove campaign aims to promote inclusion, with captains wearing a distinctive captain’s armband.
Kane will wear the bandage for the first time during England’s game against Italy at the San Siro on Friday night and it is intended that it will also be worn in Qatar during the World Cup.
When asked about the actual impact the campaign could have on Qatar, given the country’s human rights record, Kane said on Thursday: “There’s only so much that the players can really do and Wearing the captain’s armband on the biggest stage in the world will have an impact.
“But we can only do what we can. We have certainly taken a step to help with some of the problems in Qatar.”
Kane revealed that he has spoken with former team-mate and Denmark captain Christian Eriksen and his current Tottenham colleague Hugo Lloris, who captains France, about the campaign.
It was launched just months before the World Cup opened in Qatar, where attention was drawn to the treatment of migrant workers and where Kick It Out said there was “risk” for the fans. LGBTQ+ and players may wish. traveling to the Gulf country to attend a tournament because homosexuality is criminalized in the country.
Asked about the campaign, England manager Gareth Southgate added: “There’s not much that particular players can do other than talk about those issues and put them on the table because in the end Ultimately, we’re asking for change in a country we respect, have made progress, but don’t have any control.”
Southgate continued: “We did a lot of research, the FA had countless meetings with NGOs, migrant workers in Qatar, they gathered all the information and requests. of those affected There is a limit to what can be achieved.
“Talking about issues and raising issues and putting them on the scale is a vehicle we’ve been used by people involved in the sport in the past and that’s what we’re trying to do this time. .
“There will always be criticism, whatever you do but we’re trying to influence the areas where we’re asked to impact. Unless other ideas come up and the demands are different. that we consider appropriate has been discussed, it is very difficult to do more than we have been asked.”
Southgate: We have to be ruthless to succeed at the World Cup
Turning attention to football, Southgate says England must be “absolutely ruthless” if they are to achieve their goals at the upcoming World Cup after admitting he has “compromised some decisions” in four disastrous matches in June drove the Three Lions away. on the verge of relegation from League A in the Nations League.
“I feel I’ve compromised on some internal decisions and you won’t win if you compromise,” he said.
“It’s good for me to re-train that focus because what we’re going into we have to be completely ruthless and I have to create an environment for the players that allows them to excel and give what’s best for them to get to the level they’ve had in the last five or six years.”
Southgate declined to clarify what those compromises were but insisted he was confident he and the coaching staff could resolve the issues that led to modest home and away defeats to Hungary and draws with Germany. and Italy.
“There are many circumstances in the summer with, firstly, high quality games, high quality opponents, but also the need to take care of some of our big players.
“I think every country has done that. Talking to the managers of Denmark, Belgium and France over the summer, they all found it challenging because they were all thinking about the World Cup.
Full England 28-man squad to face Italy and Germany
Goalie: Dean Henderson, Nick Pope, Aaron Ramsdale.
Defender: Trent Alexander-Arnold, Ben Chilwell, Conor Coady, Eric Dier, Marc Guehi, Reece James, Harry Maguire, Luke Shaw, John Stones, Fikayo Tomori, Kieran Trippier, Kyle Walker.
Midfielder: Jude Bellingham, Mason Mount, Kalvin Phillips, Declan Rice, James Ward-Prowse.
Striker: Tammy Abraham, Jarrod Bowen, Phil Foden, Jack Grealish, Harry Kane, Bukayo Saka, Raheem Sterling, Ivan Toney.
“Also the players we would like to see more of because there are no friendlies after this one, which you usually have for a tournament.
“Two games behind the bolted door… there are many reasons, but we also reflected and dissected everything as a collective of officers.
“When you’ve been through [challenging] the mantras as a manager, which I have, help you because you are really clear about what needs to happen and how to get through those stages.
“Also, I think if we walked out of those games and wondered why things weren’t going quite well, that would be more worrying but we know exactly why and it’s a challenge. challenge to us as a team, and then finally we give that challenge to players to respond to.
“We know that the level of performance needs to be extremely high to achieve what we want to achieve at the World Cup.”
England’s next two matches…
- Friday 23: Italy (A) – starts at 7.45pm
- Monday, September 26: Germany (H) – starts at 7.45pm
While pressure is mounting on England to get a good result against Italy on Friday – they will be relegated if beaten at the San Siro – and at Wembley against Germany on Monday, Southgate is taking the opportunity to His team goes up against two European heavyweights.
“Great tests for us, great games to be in,” said Southgate. “We play two of the strongest football nations in history in two of the most iconic stadiums you can play in, so great tests for us.
“Of course we want to improve our performance from the summer and leave the camp feeling satisfied that we will be in the World Cup. Coming here and playing against Italy in Milan is a great opportunity to get there. do that.”
News about England team
John Stones suspended for the Nations League match against Italy, following a red card against Hungary last time. Jordan Henderson unlikely to be involved in Milan, with the Liverpool captain already back in fitness, but could face Germany on Monday. The rest of the team trained as usual on Thursday.
England’s World Cup Group B fixtures
November 21: Iran (Khalifa International Stadium, Al Rayyan) – kick off 1pm
November 25: USA (Al Bayt Stadium, Al Khor) – kick off at 7pm
November 29: Wales (Ahmed bin Ali Stadium, Al Rayyan) – kick off at 7pm