2022 World Cup: FA Rejects FIFA’s Request To Avail Gareth Southgate For Half-Time Press Interviews

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The English FA has rejected FIFA’s request to avail Gareth Southgate for a half-time press interview ahead of the 2022 World Cup in Qatar.

Gareth Southgate
FA declines FIFA’s request for half time interview session for Gareth Southgate at the 2022 World Cup

As the 2022 World Cup kicks off in a matter of weeks, the world’s football governing body is frantically making efforts to increase the media commitments of teams that have qualified for the tournament.

Increased media participation, they argue, brings the actions closer to the fans and further accelerates the support and commitments of the teeming followers of the game.

To this effect, FIFA is touring the governing bodies of member associations to convince them to permit their head coaches to be available for brief press interviews during half-time breaks.

Already, the FA’s of some member associations have endorsed and supported the new development, agreeing to make available their managers for the half time break interview.

The French Football Association is among the major teams that have agreed and supported the move and will permit their manager Didier Deschamps to grant the interviews.

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Gareth Southgate

However, it appears that the English FA shares a different viewpoint on the new development and is not ready to permit Gareth Southgate to subscribe to the idea.

FIFA have reportedly approached the English FA for permission to allow their national team head coach, Gareth Southgate, to be interviewed during half-time like other national team managers, who have welcomed the new idea.

The English FA rejected the request, citing concerns over distractions and the need to focus during games.

FA executives reportedly discussed the matter with Gareth Southgate over the last few weeks during their final preparations for the tournament in Qatar, and Southgate had maintained that it would be a needless distraction to him during games.

According to some managers, end-of-the-match press conferences remain ideal, and adding another middle-game interview may not augur well with the attendant pressure that comes with each matches.

The decision of the English FA is contingent upon the choice and preference of Gareth Southgate, as confirmed by Daily Mail.

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FIFA are pushing all 32 teams involved in the World Cup to increase their media commitments in order to give more content to their broadcast partners, but have yet to make half-time interviews mandatory.

Southgate may be among the minority group of managers that will not grant half time press interviews, with a number of leading managers understood to have agreed to make themselves available for interview as they leave the field of play at half-time.

Nevertheless, FA will make Southgate available for interview to TV rights holders before and after England’s games in Qatar in accordance with FIFA regulations.

Gareth Southgate

England will open the 2022 World Cup campaign against Iran in November, with Southgate’s potential World Cup squad ravaged by injury.

England are not top favorites to win the tournament, but Gareth Southgate will be expected to put up a strong performance at the tournament by the English FA.

Southgate has already suffered a backlash of criticisms over an abysmal Nations League performance, and a poor outing at the World Cup may spell doom for his managerial career with the Three Lions.

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