England captain Harry Kane and head coach Gareth Southgate have again supported the anti-discrimination campaign ‘OneLove’, but accept that it will have a limited impact in Qatar.
On Wednesday it was announced that England 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 bracelet.
Kane will wear that bracelet for the first time on Friday night in England’s Nations League match against Italy in San Siro and it is planned to be worn during the World Cup in Qatar.
Asked about the impact the campaign could realistically have in Qatar, given its human rights record, Kane said on Thursday: “There’s only so much the players can really do and wear the 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 forward to help some of the problems in Qatar.”
Kane revealed that he had spoken with former team-mate and captain of Denmark Christian Eriksen and his current Tottenham colleague Hugo Lloris, who captains France, about the campaign.
It was launched just a few months before the World Cup kicks off in Qatar, where the spotlight is on the treatment of migrant workers and where Kick It Out says there is a “risk” for LGBTQ+ fans and players moving to the Gulf state to travel for the tournament because homosexuality is a criminal offense in the country.
Asked about the campaign, England boss Gareth Southgate added: “There isn’t much more the players in particular can do except talk about those issues and put them on the table, because in the end we’re asking for change in a country that we respect, have made progress, but have no control over it.”
Southgate continued: “We have done a lot of research, the FA has had numerous meetings with NGOs, migrant workers in Qatar, they have collected all the information and requests from the affected people. There is a limit to what can be achieved.
“Talking about the problems and raising the issues and putting them on the table is the vehicle that people involved in sport have used in the past and that’s what we’re trying to do this time around.
“There will always be criticism no matter what you do, but we are trying to influence the areas that we have been asked to influence. Unless other ideas come up and other requests that we think are appropriate are on the table, it is hard to do more than we’ve been asked.”
Southgate: We must be ruthless to succeed at the World Cup
Turning his attention to football, Southgate says England must be “completely ruthless” if they are to achieve their goals at the upcoming World Cup, after admitting he “hazardized certain decisions” during the disastrous four-game spell in the game. June who left the Three Lions. on the brink of relegation from League A in the Nations League.
“I felt like I had compromised certain decisions internally, and you don’t win if you compromise,” he said.
“It was good for me to refocus that focus because what we are going to do, we have to be completely relentless and I have to create an environment for the players where they can excel and give them the best.” platform to be at the level they’ve had for the last five or six years.”
Southgate declined to clarify what those compromises were, but insisted he was confident he and his coaching staff could solve the problems that led to humiliating defeats at home and away to Hungary and draws with Germany and Italy.
“There were so many conditions in the summer with first of all high quality games, high quality opponents, but also the need to take care of some of our great players.
“I think every country did that. When they spoke to the managers of Denmark, Belgium and France in the summer, they all found it a challenge because they are all thinking about the World Cup as well.
England’s 28-man squad completely against Italy and Germany
goalkeepers: Dean Henderson, Nick Pope, Aaron Ramsdale.
Defenders: 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.
Midfielders: Jude Bellingham, Mason Mount, Kalvin Phillips, Declan Rice, James Ward-Prowse.
Ahead: Tammy Abraham, Jarrod Bowen, Phil Foden, Jack Grealish, Harry Kane, Bukayo Saka, Raheem Sterling, Ivan Toney.
“Also players we wanted to see more of because there are no friendlies after this, which you would normally have for a tournament.
“Two games behind closed doors… so all kinds of reasons, but also as a team we reflected and analyzed everything.
“If you’ve been through [challenging] spells as a manager, which I have, that helps you because you really have clarity about what needs to be done and how to get through those periods.
“In addition, I think if we came out of those games and wondered why things hadn’t gone so well, that would be more of a concern, but we knew exactly the reasons and it’s challenging for us as a group.” from staff and then finally for us to give that challenge to the players to respond.
“We know that the level of performance has to be incredibly high to achieve what we want to achieve at the World Cup.”
England’s next two games…
- Friday September 23: Italy (A) – kick-off at 7:45 pm
- Monday, September 26: Germany (H) – kick-off at 7:45 PM
While England are under pressure to deliver positive results on Friday, away to Italy – they will be relegated if defeated at San Siro – and at Wembley against Germany on Monday, Southgate is enjoying the chance for his side to move up against two European heavyweights.
“Great tests for us, great games to be involved in,” said Southgate. “We are historically playing against two of the strongest football nations in two of the most iconic stadiums you can play in, so great tests for us.
“Obviously we want to improve our performance over the summer and leave the camp feeling good about going to the World Cup. Coming here and playing Italy in Milan is a great opportunity to do that.”
England team news
John Stones has been suspended from the Nations League game with Italy, after his red card against Hungary last time. It is unlikely that Jordan Henderson will be involved with Milan, with the Liverpool skipper returning to fitness, but could face Germany on Monday. The rest of the team trained normally on Thursday.
England Group B World Cup matches
November 21st: Iran (Khalifa International Stadium, Al Rayyan) – kick-off 1:00 PM
November 25th: United States (Al Bayt Stadium, Al Khor) – Kick-off 7pm
Nov 29: Wales (Ahmed bin Ali Stadium, Al Rayyan) – Kick-off 7pm