Once again in this World Cup, many non-sporting topics were discussed during a press conference. This Sunday, in Doha, on the eve of the entry into the running of the Three Lions against Iran, within the framework of the first day of group B of the 2022 World Cup, Gareth Southgate and Harry Kane have indeed answered many political and societal questions.
“A strong gesture that will go around the world”
The England coach has revealed that his players will take a knee before kick-off, to show their opposition to racism and discriminations: “We discussed it and we feel that we must continue to defend these values, as we have done previously (especially during Euro 2021). We realized that now Premier League clubs only do it on big occasions. Well (this World Cup) is the greatest of occasions. It’s a strong gesture that will go around the world, and which is particularly aimed at young people, to tell them that inclusiveness is very important. »
For his part, Harry Kane confirmed that he would wear the OneLove rainbow armband as captain this Monday against Iran, even if he were to be penalized for it with a yellow card by the arbitrator, who might consider it a political move. “We have made it clear that we all, as a team, and the staff as well, want me to wear this armband. I know that the FA (English Federation) and FIFA are discussing the subject at the moment and I am sure that an agreement will be reached by kick-off (to avoid being warned for this). »
No gesture planned towards the Iranian people
Finally, Southgate warned that his team should not make special gestures of support for the Iranian people before the meeting, as protests have continued in this country since the death on September 16 of Masha Amini, a Kurd. 22-year-old Iranian: I don’t feel informed enough to comment on what’s going on in Iran and I don’t think it’s my role to do so, either. I imagine that the Iranian players and their manager (Carlos Queiroz) are in a delicate situation, but they are more aware than us to discuss these subjects. If they ever asked us to make a gesture of support, we would obviously be ready to listen to them and think about it… But this is not the case for the moment. »