Gareth Southgate thinks England boycott of 2022 World Cup in Qatar is irrelevant

    File photo dated 08-09-2021 of England manager Gareth Southgate speaks to the media ahead of the 2022 FIFA World Cup Qualifying match at PGE Narodowy Stadium, Warsaw. England manager Gareth Southgate has suggested medical confidentiality is the basis for his players not publicly sharing their Covid vaccination status. Issue date: Friday October 8, 2021.

    Gareth Southgate has questioned what England would gain by boycotting the World Cup this year because of human rights violations in Qatar.

    Gareth Southgate thinks England boycott of 2022 World Cup in Qatar is irrelevant

    Since being given the finals in 2010, the Gulf state has been embroiled in controversy, but in a World Cup year, allegations of human rights breaches and ill-treatment of migrant workers have come to the fore.

    England’s players and staff met on Tuesday to explore how they could use their platform at the World Cup in November to promote change, but Gareth Southgate has stated that a complete boycott of Qatar 2022 is not an option.

    “I’m not sure what that does,” he remarked. “Even though it would be a tremendous story, the tournament would go on.

    “Unfortunately, the most serious issue, which is non-religious and non-cultural, is what occurred during the construction of the stadiums, and there is nothing we can do about it.”

    “For the past eight years, we’ve known that this would take place in Qatar. Is the position hostile to Qatar as a country? We are entangled with all types of investment in this country, as we can see with Russia.”

    “This is a difficult situation. The issues themselves aren’t difficult; nevertheless, the ramifications of diplomatic ties and dealings with other countries and organizations are.”

    Southgate stated that whatever course of action he and his England players follow in Qatar would be met with criticism.

    “The players are thinking about how they can respond best and try to influence the areas we can influence,” he continued.

    “There are some cultural and religious issues that will be tough to influence and change, but there is no doubt an opportunity to use our platform for good.

    “We have a long time to achieve it, so I don’t believe we should rush into it. I don’t believe the players believe they can rush something and come to the incorrect conclusion or conclusion.

    “We will be judged regardless of what we do, but we will strive to do our best. There will be recurring events throughout the year.

    “On a variety of subjects, the players have stepped up to the plate in a big way. We must utilize our voices correctly and at the appropriate times.”

    Southgate was taken aback by Italy’s elimination

    While England continues their on-field and off-field preparations for Qatar 2022, Italy is adjusting to another World Cup absence following their stunning play-off semi-final defeat to North Macedonia on Thursday.

    Gareth Southgate thinks England boycott of 2022 World Cup in Qatar is irrelevant

    Southgate voiced his amazement at Italy’s elimination, claiming that the outcome demonstrated how effectively his players had recovered from last summer’s disappointment of losing on penalties to the Azzurri at Wembley.

    “It was a complete shock,” Southgate remarked. “It’s obvious that teams go through a cycle, whether it was the cycle or the aftermath of the [Euro 2020] final, the emotion, and everything else… that’s where our guys excelled.

    “It was absolutely incredible and easily underrated that they were able to recover from the excitement of the final and then perform as well as they did in the autumn. I believe that qualifying is usually [undervalued].

    “I believe Italy was in that position based on their results and performances, but three or four of their games were decided by razor-thin margins, and that is football.”


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