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Gareth Southgate tells England stars to ditch social media after Thierry Henry stance


Gareth Southgate wants his England stars to ditch social media during the Euros to avoid race hate and abuse.

The Three Lions boss accepts he can’t ban his players to put platforms like Twitter and Instagram on the back-burner and he’ll leave the decision to them this summer.

But Southgate has serious concerns about the negative impact social media can have during a tournament – and would prefer his players to suspend their accounts.

Thierry Henry (below) became the latest high-profile star to take a stand against social media companies which don’t act on racism and bullying.

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The former Arsenal, Barcelona and France world cup winner said the tirade of abuse was “too toxic to ignore” before disabling his accounts across various platforms.

Henry has demanded action from social media companies.
Henry has demanded action from social media companies.

It’s an on-going worry for Southgate too – and he hopes his stars will choose to park their own accounts until the Euros are over.

“It’s something for all players, all high-profile people, who might receive that negative attention, to think about.

“Do you want to put yourself in that position and situation?

“But I don’t think you can make or force people into a decision. You can discuss it, and they have the maturity to make their own decisions.

“These boys have to live their lives and go their own path” said the England chief.

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“Even if that would be helpful at times and you see that from far. It’s got to be their journey through life and they have the right to make those calls.

England manager Gareth Southgate wants his players to avoid social media.
England manager Gareth Southgate wants his players to avoid social media.

“From a performance perspective, I don’t see a huge positive in a lot of that interaction .

“But, equally, there are connections with fans and the public, which have been really important for the growth of our team so it’s a really difficult balance.

“I made a conscious decision to come off social media when I took the Under-21 job. I didn’t think it would be the right platform and didn’t want to read the sort of messages I knew would be landing in my box.

“Similarly, when I‘m in camp now, I try to switch off all the media, which is not great for keeping up with what’s going on in the world.

“But the world is a happier place if I’m not seeing that negativity. It’s something, absolutely, for our players to consider.

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England players have been warned to avoid social media during the Euros.

“If you spoke to every manager in the country, one of their biggest concerns is that after a game in the dressing room players are scrolling through their phone.

“It’s a vulnerable time for people just after they’ve played a game, they are tired, fatigued – and what voice are they listening to?”

Responding to Henry’s stance Southgate added: “It seems companies in charge don’t seem to be controlling it at the moment, so I totally understand why people would choose to come off the platforms.”

Southgate has dismissed fears that his stars could be vulnerable in Tirana with Albanian authorities flagging up issues over security at the Arena Kombetare.

And he claims he’s more focused on the threat Albania’s players pose to his side.

“Whenever you travel anywhere around Europe now, the stadiums are good. We have no worries.

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“I know they’ve had some problems with the pitch but I’m sure it’ll be better than it was for the matches when the stadium just opened.

“It will definitely will be a tougher test, they are a well-coached team, a very experienced Italian coach, and you can see the detail in the way they play.

“They play well with the ball and they’re well-organised defensively and with set-plays. So, as always, we’ve got to be at our very best to win the game.”





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