England, Wales and five other European countries feared their captains would be held “unlimited liable” and face suspension if they violated FIFA’s ban on the pro-diversity OneLove armband during the Football World Cup.
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Despite criticism for backing down after pressure from FIFA, the English Football Association’s options were limited by fears that sporting sanctions against Harry Kane could be worse than an instant warning if the captain wore an anti-Iran armband. There were also concerns that Gareth Southgate’s team might be prevented from taking the field.
The FA’s concerns were shared by the other six countries involved in the OneLove campaign after talks with world football’s governing body, and those close to the process were under the impression that FIFA could do anything to any captain who wore an armband in Qatar World Cup. The German federation described FIFA’s conduct as extreme blackmail, and sources indicated it was not clear whether the captains would simply receive a warning.
England, Wales, Belgium, Switzerland, the Netherlands, Germany and Denmark feared that their captains could be banned. It was unclear if the suspension would be limited to one match. None of the countries was ready to put their players in such a position. The source said the captains would risk unlimited liability if they violated FIFA’s warnings.
Separately, the FA were concerned that England’s game against Iran would not have started if Kane had attempted to leave the dressing room with his arm bandaged. The FA is looking into whether the threat of sports sanctions can be legally challenged, and seven associations are outraged by FIFA’s behavior.
Speculation that Kane could have created an iconic moment by entering the field with an armband and receiving an instant warning is out of place. The yellow card was to be shown in the dressing room, which would have eliminated any potential symbolism.
Southgate, speaking ahead of Friday’s game against the United States, was asked about the threat of sanctions against Kane. I don’t know the whole story because I wasn’t at the meeting, but it definitely felt like there were sanctions and not all of them were really clear, I think that’s why the decision was taken from Harry’s hands. – said the head coach of England.
“The decision of the organization was this: we will not even put a bandage in the locker room. There is no discussion. The player did not have the right to vote.”
Players from Germany were praised for covering their mouths with their hands to suggest they were gagged by FIFA ahead of the game against Japan on Wednesday. Six players, including captain Manuel Neuer, also wore Adidas boots with rainbow stitching during the team’s shock 2-1 defeat to Japan, and the team sported rainbow-sleeved jerseys in the warm-up. Germany did not face punishment from FIFA, but Southgate wondered if there would be any value for England holding a similar form of protest on Friday.
I’m quite happy with our position and I think we need to be sure of what we stand for, Southgate said. There was a plan – we could not carry out this plan. What are we to do now? We are all trying to outdo each other in a gesture that, however we do it, will probably not be enough. We want to support the LGBTQ community in particular and recognize that many of these people are not with us and we wanted them to be here with us. But we can also rush through things that don’t really matter.
“I understand that this will be inconvenient for people, because they can criticize me, the captain has been criticized, the organization will be criticized. I really love what I stand for and how I connect with people every day of my life is more important than a statement that may or may not succeed.”
Kane trained on Thursday and will start on Friday after injury concerns. Southgate revealed that England, who would lock out of Group B by defeating the US, would name a permanent team against Gregg Berhalter’s team. James Maddison is still recovering from his knee injury.
“Harry Maguire, who has recovered from the dehydration that forced him to play against Iran, has been open about the criticism he has faced and compared it to the negativity directed at his former Manchester United teammate Cristiano Ronaldo. According to him, he is one of the greatest players of all time and is criticized day in and day out. So if that happens to him, I think it’s part and parcel of the game. Southgate reported that Prince William told English players to block social media distractions. “We couldn’t pay him for better advice, Southgate said.”
Gareth Southgate reveals frustration at USA for ‘taking’ Yunus Musah from England
The Valencia midfielder, who has played for England in four age groups and captained the under-18s, switched sides in March 2021. Southgate tried to convince Musa to commit, but the 19-year-old, who speaks with a Cockney accent, has now played 20 times for the States. For more know about Football World Cup Tickets.
Asked about today’s opponent, the Three Lions manager said: First of all, they are very active in recruiting. They took one of ours, which didn’t make us very happy, but fair game. Yunus was in our team until the age of 19, and then we were closed. He was a player at a stage I didn’t have much contact with and the decision was made before I had a chance to get to know him well.
Explaining his decision, Mousa, who was once referred to as the American Paul Pogba by Nottingham Forest boss Steve Cooper, said: I loved spending time with England, the coaches and the players, it was amazing.
“But the time came when I was playing for the first team at Valencia, and the coaches from the USA talked to me a lot about their projects, and I felt that I would play my part in this. We have a great team in the US and the project could be something big.”
Before moving to Valencia in 2019, Mousa played for Arsenal at an academic level for seven years alongside the likes of Bukayo Saka and Emile Smith Rowe. Speaking about his experience with the Gunners, he said: When I saw the likes of Mesut Ozil and Olivier Giroud, I wanted to be like them.
I aspired to be the next step at Arsenal because I was under them. I played with Saka and Emil, they are great players. I am so happy that they are now playing in the first team of Arsenal, but my decision to leave was due to the fact that I felt that Valencia had a great plan for me. They gave me so much trust as you can see and everything they came up with sounded like a great plan. Saka is set to start again for the Three Lions tonight, with Southgate expected to name an unchanged starting XI instead of one that comfortably beat Iran 6-2 in the first group match.
England stars encountering first-world problems at Football World Cup base
Asked about scheduled meetings, Southgate said: Well, we’re going to see how the next few days go, and we’ve talked about maybe watching something after the second game, but we have to keep an eye on what the stakes are here. the same as everything else.
We’re going to have to watch it everywhere, but there’s a balance between the spirit and happiness of the group and the zero risk medical line, and sometimes if you’re going to go for zero risk it can kill it for everyone, so we have to try to find that balance. The Football World Cup campaign is certainly very different from the international Euro 2020 tournament, which is played mainly in England.
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