Gareth Southgate on Qatar controversies: “We have the responsibility to shed light on aspects that can be improved”

England manager Gareth Southgate has spoken about a range of issues and has stated that the national team will have the responsibility to shed light on aspects in Qatar that can be improved.

Southgate spoke to La Repubblica in an exclusive interview recently and when asked about controversies surrounding Qatar, the Three Lions boss stated:

“I don’t think I’m the right person to say how a foreign country should be governed. But we certainly have the responsibility and the possibility of being able to shed a light on some aspects that can be improved. This is already a lot to be able to make a difference.”

He was also asked about homosexuality as well and Southgate stated: “The locker room would have no problem and would support the teammates who are coming out. But the players are afraid of the reactions they might receive.”

Southgate was asked about whether he still has nightmares of losing the Euro 2020 final to Italy last year and he stated: “I would not call them nightmares. Of course, it is a defeat that I will always carry with me, for my whole life. And for many I will always remain ‘one from the Euros’, even if we win the World Cup. Because you always want to win: for example, when we were playing, I was angry that Roy Keane had won a lot more than I. Yet Roy was angry like me and wanted to keep winning.

“Paradoxically, our problem in that final against Italy was that we took the lead after two minutes, in a tournament where we had conceded only one goal and never lost from an advantage situation. Then, subconsciously, we stopped pressing high and holding the ball more. So we lost the ball. But it is also true that the players felt safe and we gave Italy very few opportunities. The equaliser overturned the psychology of the game.”

England’s World Cup group has the United States, Iran and Wales, with the Three Lions to start their campaign on the 21st of November.


Kaustubh Pandey | GIFN

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