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Home ยป Southgate Encourages England Players To Reassess Social Media Use Ahead Of World Cup

Southgate Encourages England Players To Reassess Social Media Use Ahead Of World Cup

England manager Gareth Southgate has encouraged players to reassess their social media usage and ensure it doesn’t affect their happiness and mood at the World Cup.

It comes after black players were targeted with racist abuse after England’s defeat on penalties in last year’s European Championship final.

Now Southgate’s side is about to leave for its next tournament – the World Cup in Qatar – at a time of uncertainty online, particularly around Twitter’s moderation of abuse following the takeover by Elon Musk.

Southgate told Sky News: “I would always advise players not to use social media too regularly but that’s the world they live in.

“They are young people and young people live their lives via social media.

“As long as you can rationalise that and not let it affect your happiness and your mood, then that’s fine.

“You’ve got to allow adults to make adult decisions.”

Southgate, who has not tweeted since 2015 before being appointed England manager the following year, does not have confidence that social media is a “safe space” and he urges players to report abuse.

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Southgate announces his final 26-man squad for the World Cup He said: “We have had people come and speak to them and explain that process helps them go and find the guilty parties.

“We can only do our bit towards that.

“Of course we hope the government can keep pushing the social media companies to try and control that the best they can.”

The government’s Online Safety Bill, which the Football Association has backed, remains in limbo almost three years after it formed part of the Conservative Party’s general election manifesto.

The England players are yet to decide whether to take a knee at the World Cup after performing the gesture throughout the Euros last year to highlight racial injustice and discrimination.

The Three Lions have already adopted an activist stance heading to Qatar as they seek to draw attention to the suffering of low-paid migrant workers in building the Gulf nation’s infrastructure and the criminalisation of same-sex relations.

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‘Unlikely’ we will only talk football The FA insists it will continue to campaign on human rights issues and compensation for migrant workers in Qatar even after FIFA told teams to keep politics and lectures on morality out of the World Cup.

Southgate said: “We won’t stop doing that.

“How much we can affect and how much influence we will ultimately have is difficult to tell because in the end, the responsibility of some of these things, the responsibility lies with FIFA as much as it does with us.”

While Southgate insisted the team will “keep pushing in the areas we can”, the priority is winning England’s first World Cup since 1966, having reached the semi-finals in 2018.

Speaking at England’s St George’s Park HQ, Southgate said: “I have got to make sure that I don’t get distracted from my primary job which is to try to win football matches for the team.”