Southgate puzzled by Hungarian children booing England players for taking the knee

By Sports Desk June 04, 2022

Gareth Southgate was perplexed as to why Hungarian children booed England players when they took the knee before the Three Lions' shock Nations League defeat on Saturday.

Dominik Szoboszlai's second-half penalty gave Hungary a shock 1-0 victory at the Puskas Arena.

The League A Group 3 game was supposed to be played behind closed doors as punishment for racist behaviour in the same stadium during Euro 2020 last year.

Yet children were allowed to attend the game and a crowd of 35,000 watched England's record 22-game unbeaten run come to an end in Budapest.

There were boos when England players took the knee prior to kick-off in the same stadium where some of Southgate's players were subjected to racist abuse during a World Cup qualifier in September.

England manager Southgate told Channel 4: "The first thing is that is why we do it [take the knee], to try to educate people around the world. I have no idea why people would choose to boo that gesture.

"I think very often, young people especially, they can't know why they are doing it really, so they are being influenced by older adults. The UEFA decision [to allow people into the ground], that is for other people to decide.

"I think we've made our stand as a team, everybody knows what we believe and what we stand for. I think tonight, I've got to focus on the football. When you lose, you can't be talking too much about other areas because I think that would be a lack of responsibility for the result."

Southgate said there could be no excuse for a substandard display from England, although he questioned referee Artur Dias' decision to award Hungary a penalty when Reece James was adjudged to have fouled Zsolt Nagy.

"We have to accept that we did not do enough to win the game, a draw would have been the fair outcome," he said. "We did not create too many clear-cut chances and the actual result hinged on a decision which is harsh but probably won't be overturned.

"Once it has been given as a penalty, he probably will not overturn it. You see challenges like that in the box, Reece James puts his body between the ball and the forward makes a meal of it. Away from home sometimes you will get those calls.

"It has [been a long season], but the heat was a factor and took a lot out of the players, and we tried to refresh the team earlier than normal.

"The balance of finding out about new things and the consistency of the regular team, I have to look at whether I got that right.

"I don't want to be too harsh on them, these are games where we need to learn from. They are bitterly disappointed because we want to keep winning matches. If we want to be a team right at the top tier of football, we need to come here and win."

Related items

  • Buttler unsure over Test return as England's limited-overs captain focuses on World Cup Buttler unsure over Test return as England's limited-overs captain focuses on World Cup

    Jos Buttler does not know if he will return to the Test fold for England, stressing his focus remains firmly on white-ball cricket ahead of next year's World Cup defence.

    Having led his side to success in the T20 World Cup last month in Australia, the wicket-keeper-batsman will look to defend the 50-over trophy he won as part of Eoin Morgan's side in 2019 next October.

    Buttler's commitments to the sport's shorter formats has seen him kept out of the red-ball game, having last played for the Test team in January.

    With the World Cup now 10 months away, the 32-year-old is not ruling out a return, but says it is not a priority with his other commitments.

    "We will wait and see [but] I don't know for the minute, to be honest," he told Sky Sports News.

    "I am really enjoying what I'm doing at the moment, and getting the opportunity to captain the white-ball teams has been a great challenge and really enjoyable.

    "The attention turns to the 50-over World Cup and trying to think ahead and planning how we tackle that tournament. We've had a couple of retirements from the side, some stalwarts in Stokes and Morgan.

    "We've got to work out how we fill that hole and give guys the opportunity to take those positions up and look to build a balanced team ahead of the tournament."

    Test skipper Ben Stokes has retired from the ODI format since succeeding Joe Root as red-ball captain, but has not ruled out coming back into the fold for the World Cup.

    Buttler would not be drawn on whether he would reverse his decision, however, adding: "He's got lots on his plate captaining the Test team and obviously some exciting series coming up with the Ashes next year especially.

    "We'll just plan ahead and give guys the opportunity and things will work themselves out naturally.

    "I think over the next six to eight months, guys will perform really well and put their hand up and try to stake a claim for those positions."

  • Gakpo on Man Utd interest: 'When they come, I'll think about it' Gakpo on Man Utd interest: 'When they come, I'll think about it'

    Netherlands and PSV forward Cody Gakpo will "think about" a move to Manchester United should the Premier League side come calling again.

    Gakpo has been one of the stars of the 2022 World Cup so far and is reportedly a January transfer target for United, Liverpool, Real Madrid and Bayern Munich among others.

    The 23-year-old became only the second player in the competition's history, after Italy's Alessandro Altobelli in 1986, to open the scoring three times in the same group stage.

    He fired a blank in the 3-1 win over the United States in the last 16, but the in-form attacker still boasts a return of 17 goals and eight assists in 30 games this season.

    United are reputed to be the frontrunners to sign Gakpo, having already reached out in the past window, and he will consider any fresh interest in the coming weeks.

    Asked about missing out on a move to the Premier League earlier this year, coinciding with PSV failing to qualify for the Champions League, Gakpo said: "That was tough.

    "I've learned a lot from that. Next time I'll do it differently. I thought about Manchester United before, but when that didn't happen I didn't know anymore and started to doubt.

    "Then Leeds United came and I wondered if I should go there. Now I'll wait for everything. I haven't heard from Manchester United yet, but when they come, I'll think about it."

     

    Gakpo's goals and all-round attacking play have helped the Netherlands through to the quarter-finals in Qatar, where Argentina await in a mouth-watering tie on Friday.

    The Oranje have lost just one of their nine meetings with Argentina, though the most recent of their four draws resulted in a penalty shoot-out loss in the 2014 World Cup semi-final.

    Argentina have found their groove with wins over Mexico, Poland and Australia since suffering a shock opening loss to Saudi Arabia, with Lionel Messi playing a starring role.

    "We shouldn't think only about him," Gakpo added in the interview with Dutch outlet NRC. "We need to win and it doesn't matter who we are facing.

    "Argentina are here for one reason and so are we. We are aware we have to play better than them, and we can do that.

    "But in a tournament like this, all that counts is the result. We have to find the right moments on the field to use each other's strengths."

  • Messi is 'human' and 'can miss' penalties, says Netherlands' Noppert ahead of World Cup quarter-final Messi is 'human' and 'can miss' penalties, says Netherlands' Noppert ahead of World Cup quarter-final

    Lionel Messi is "human" and "can miss" penalties, according to the Netherlands goalkeeper Andries Noppert ahead of his team's clash with Argentina in the World Cup quarter-finals on Friday.

    In his fifth World Cup, Messi has scored three times in Qatar to help Argentina to the final eight of the tournament, taking his tally to 94 international goals.

    Messi has converted 21 of his 26 penalties in his Argentina career, with one of those failures coming in the 2-0 victory over Poland in La Albiceleste's last group match in Qatar, though he did score from 12 yards in the shock opening 2-1 defeat to Saudi Arabia.

    With Spain and Japan dumped out by penalty shoot-outs in the round of 16, Noppert is ready to take on the challenge if Friday's game goes the distance and Messi takes a spot-kick.

    "He's the same like us. He's a human," Noppert told reporters on Wednesday. "It's about the moment.

    "He can also miss, and we see it in the beginning of this tournament."

    Noppert's route to becoming the Netherlands' number one goalkeeper at a World Cup has been an unconventional one, having been released from second-tier Dutch side Dordrecht just two years ago.

    He considered retiring from football altogether, though was eventually signed by Eredivisie side Go Ahead Eagles in early 2021. Noppert found success there, before joining Heerenveen in May of this year.

    His form was enough to earn him a call-up to the Netherlands' squad for Qatar, and Noppert became just the second Oranje player to make his national team debut at a World Cup in their opening 2-0 victory over Senegal.

    With such a meteoric rise, Noppert spoke of his pride ahead of the biggest game of his career, while crediting coach Louis van Gaal for the role he played in the 28-year-old's inclusion.

    "When you are a little boy you dream of being at a World Cup," Noppert added. "When you see my career, you put that dream away. But I kept fighting for it. 

    "There is only one national coach who could have brought me here and that is our national coach [Van Gaal]. 

    "I am proud to be here and I have to keep working hard. That is the most important thing."

© 2022 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.