Conor Coady yesterday stressed England’s continuing belief that ‘football is for everybody’ as the World Cup squad met migrant workers in Doha.
Qatar’s hosting of the tournament has been overshadowed by numerous controversies, including the country’s human rights record, its treatment of migrant workers and its LGBTQ+ laws. Defender Coady (right) said: ‘We have said the same thing — we really believe that football is for absolutely everybody.
‘We’re all here for one thing, and that’s to play football, but in terms of what we believe as a team and as players, football is for all, everyone to be included in our great sport.’
Last year a report said 6,500 migrant workers had died in the Gulf state since the award of the World Cup, something that is ‘categorically’ denied by authorities.
After welcoming workers to England’s training base Southgate suggested his squad have ‘made a rod for their own back’ by speaking out on human rights.
Fifa president Gianni Infantino has urged teams to ‘not allow football to be dragged into every ideological or political battle that exists’ during the tournament.
Southgate said: ‘We are now asked more of those types of questions than ever before. Perhaps it’s because we’ve made a rod for our own back in that we’ve dealt with some pretty hefty issues fairly well.
“So we’re not going to duck questions on human rights, but we’ve also got to be conscious of how much we can affect.’
James Maddison missed training yesterday to manage his fitness.
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