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“Are we all going to stop shopping at Sainsburys?”

GARETH SOUTHGATE has ruled out a World Cup boycott and believes it is too late to protest the finals in Qatar.

The Gulf state was planned over his appalling human rights record since being named a host country by Fifa in 2010.

Gareth Southgate believes England should still go to Qatar as he prepares for Saturday's friendly against Switzerland with assistant coach Steve Holland

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Gareth Southgate believes England should still go to Qatar as he prepares for Saturday’s friendly against Switzerland with assistant coach Steve HollandCredit: PA
Harry Kane and Jordan Henderson take center stage during England training session

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Harry Kane and Jordan Henderson take center stage during England training sessionPhoto credit: Getty

but England boss Southgate insists his team will leave Qatar in November, saying, “I don’t know what a boycott would do.

It would be a big story, but the tournament would go ahead anyway, and the fact is that the biggest issues that are non-religious and non-cultural are related to the construction of the stadiums.

“And unfortunately there’s nothing we can do about it now.

“Once we entered this tournament, we should have decided what stance we would take against Qatar.

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“Should we protest against them as a country or against a specific issue? Because as a country we are intertwined, as we saw with Russia.

“We have all sorts of investments with Qatar in this country. Will we all stop shopping at Sainsburys or protest the Shard?

“We are in such a complex world as we have seen people criticize the Saudi investment in Newcastle and then we go to them and ask them to lower oil prices so we can get our gas cheaper.

“All these discussions about diplomatic relations and dealing with other countries are extremely complicated and I don’t think that’s a decision that the players or I can make.”

FA bosses gave the full England squad a thorough briefing on the troubles surrounding Qatar ahead of this afternoon’s Wembley friendly against Switzerland.

Southgate revealed: “Talking to the players was very important. We tried to narrow down an incredible amount of information to key areas and this provoked a lot of discussion between them.

“They think about how best to respond to try and influence things.

“Some of the religious and cultural aspects will be very difficult to change, but there is an opportunity to use our voices positively.”

Liverpool midfielder Jordan Henderson admits he was shaken by the situation in Doha as the FA shared the details with players this week.

He said: “I had heard a lot about Qatar but it was hard to know what was going on, what was true and what wasn’t.

“I played there with Liverpool at the Club World Cup three years ago and there were no problems for me.

Conor Gallagher meets his England midfielder Jordan Henderson

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Conor Gallagher meets his England midfielder Jordan HendersonPhoto credit: Getty
England's Declan Rice, James Ward-Prowse, Tyrone Mings, Jude Bellingham and Ben White go through a practical routine

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England’s Declan Rice, James Ward-Prowse, Tyrone Mings, Jude Bellingham and Ben White go through a practical routinePhoto credit: Rex
Raheem Sterling is the man in the middle at St. George's Park, Burton Upon Trent

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Raheem Sterling is the man in the middle at St. George’s Park, Burton Upon TrentPhoto credit: Rex
Crystal Palace's Tyrick Mitchell adapts to England training after being called up

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Crystal Palace’s Tyrick Mitchell adapts to England training after being called upPhoto credit: Rex

“We were only there for a week and everything was fine with the accommodation and the stadium and there were no problems with the fans, so everything seemed fine.

“But when we received a proper briefing from the FA the other day it was quite shocking and appalling to hear some of the problems that happened there.

“It took us some time to digest that and it sparked a conversation within the team because it’s a really important issue and we need to figure out what we want to do going forward.

“It’s an opportunity to shed light on the issues that exist, and perhaps we can use our platforms to create change for the better.

We’re trying to make a difference for positive change and I think everyone knows we will always stand against discrimination.

Jordan Henderson

“We have a couple of international captains in Liverpool in Virgil van Dijk and Andy Robertson and Harry Kane will be speaking to other captains across Europe before deciding what we will do together.

“Whatever we decide as a team, it will be criticized and will never be enough, but that’s not why we’re doing it.

“We’re trying to change the world for the better, and I think everyone knows we will always stand against discrimination.

“People were asking why we took the knee and in the beginning I could hear some fans booing us for it.

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“But all I hear now is cheers, so I feel like we’ve made positive changes in a very short space of time.

“But there is still work to be done and we will continue to do so as a team and as individuals.”

https://www.thesun.co.uk/sport/football/18071244/england-southgate-qatar-world-cup-no-boycott/ “Are we all going to stop shopping at Sainsburys?”

Ashley

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