Gareth Southgate hasn’t ruled out further gestures to highlight the problems in Qatar following FIFA’s ban on the OneLove armband.
England and six other European countries have been threatened with sanctions by the sport’s governing body if they wear the rainbow captain’s armband, designed to raise awareness of LGBTQ+ discrimination in the country.
This is just one of many issues the World Cup in Qatar has highlighted, with the treatment of migrant workers and women’s rights also discussed.
Germany decided to cover their mouths in protest at the FIFA ban, but England boss Southgate said he would not react to each country’s individual actions.
He told talkSPORT: “I’m not sure where we are now because we know full well what we stand for as a team.
“We’ve been talking for months about the issues here and what we don’t want to fall into is feeling the need to react to each different country doing their job.
“Australia produced a fantastic video, and that’s to their credit, but I don’t think we need to produce a better video because we want to be seen doing something.
“At some point you have to be confident in what you stand for. I’m totally calm with that side of things.
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“I would have liked to wear the armband but it turned out to be impossible. There are many other things we have done for migrant workers and pushed behind the scenes for change with FIFA.
“We’re not going to please everyone even if we did something, and I’m not sure what it would be, I don’t think it will please or be enough for everyone anyway.
“There comes a time for me and the players where we have to remember why we are here and we still talk about the issues, which is the most important thing.
“Token things would be good, maybe there’s something that could be done later, I don’t know what it is, other people have to think about those things because I have a band limited bandwidth and that I spend a lot of time on these issues, which sometimes takes me away from football problems.
And there are plenty of football issues that Southgate will face over the coming days and weeks.
England got off to a brilliant start with a 6-2 win over Iran to top Group B after one game. Southgate were less than impressed his side gave up two goals and revealed what he has since told his players.
He said: “I actually said well done because I also have to balance if you had told me seven days ago that we would be three points, and plus four goals difference, then I would be really happy.
“The point immediately after the game is that we know the level that would be needed tomorrow to win the game and we conceded too many goals.
“Great, we scored so many goals, but we also have to do well on both sides of the pitch if we want to be serious contenders here.”
Their next match will be against the United States on Friday, who drew 1-1 with Wales in their first group game.
Assessing their next opponents, Southgate added: “Pretty much what we’ve seen. High energy, athletic midfielder, speed in their forward positions. I don’t think we’ll see anything different.
“They will be very motivated for the game, they have quite a few players playing in the Premier League.
“I think it will be a solid test and we will have to be good in all aspects of our game.”
The Three Lions also received a boost this week with the news that captain Harry Kane would be fit after an ankle scan.
He added: “He did some work outside the band yesterday [Wednesday], partly due to reloading anyway. We just wanted to give him an extra day to recover, but he’s doing great.
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