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Gareth Southgate: England won’t be rushed into matching Germany protest

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independent.co.uk

Gareth Southgate has not ruled out his England team making a gesture to highlight human rights concerns at the Qatar World Cup but says they will not be pressured into doing so.The German team covered their mouths for the team photo before their opening World Cup match against Japan on Wednesday, while the Australia squad released a video highlighting issues in the host country.Seven European nations competing at the World Cup – including Germany, England and Wales – planned to wear OneLove anti-discrimination armbands during the tournament, but were dissuaded from doing so following the threat of sporting sanctions from FIFA.Southgate, whose team face the United States in their second match on Friday, said: “I don’t think we should feel any pressure – I think we’ve spoken on these particular topics for over a year and we’ve supported all manner of good causes either as individuals or the collective.“I think there’s a risk that everybody tries to escalate – if we tried to do a better video than Australia did, that would be impossible; whether we try to come up with a better gesture than Germany.“I think we’ve got to be comfortable that we know what we stand for.

That’s not to say we won’t do anything moving forward if the timing’s right, but I think we are rushing to be seen to be doing something, we could make an error that doesn’t land well.”Southgate acknowledged that England have faced some criticism for dropping their plan to wear the armbands.

Two other members of the OneLove group, Belgium and Switzerland, also declined to make gestures during their respective opening matches.“We’re definitely highly supportive of our LGBTQ fanbase and I know some of them feel a little disappointed in terms of the armband not

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