The England Football manager has claimed that the Brexit vote had “racial undertones” and that football had the power to bring the country together in an interview that has caused consternation amongst many England fans.
Speaking in an ITV documentary on the rise of black footballers in the English game he said:
I didn’t like the connotations around Brexit there were some generational opinions about what modern Britain should look like.
We felt that young people, in particular, would connect with our guys because they must have been confused after Brexit because for me a lot of the undertones of the voting on Brexit were racial undertones.
With England the viewing figures become close to half the country – that’s a huge way to bring people together.
During the 2018 World cup, the whole country was back the team and their unexpected success, tens of millions of Britons watched England games live and the public mood seemed to be lifting in support of the National football team.
Interviewed on 26th June during the World cup, Mr Southgate said:
We are a team with our diversity that represent the modern England.
In England, we’ve spent a bit of time being a bit lost as to what our modern identity is and hopefully people can connect with us. We have the chance to affect something bigger than ourselves.
In the documentary ex-England Striker Ian Wright also spoke of: “The power that football has and the power that the England team has in unifying the country. It’s magnificent.”
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