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FA shoot down claims 'It's Coming Home' England anthem axed for offending other nations
5 May 2022, 10:09 | Updated: 5 May 2022, 13:31
The FA has shot down claims England's iconic World Cup anthem 'Football's Coming Home' could be axed over fears it offends other nations.
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The Three Lions classic, which is sung by England fans during the World Cup tournament, has been a favourite amongst fans since the 1996 Euros.
It was reported the Baddiel and Skinner classic could be replaced by Neil Diamond’s singalong Sweet Caroline.
FA chiefs fear the Three Lions tune is viewed as "arrogant" by other countries, The Sun said.
They are set to drop it amid fears other nations believe it is "arrogant" to sing about England being the home of football.
However, the FA said in a statement: "Contrary to reports this morning, the FA still plays Three Lions at major Wembley matches and has never had any intention of doing otherwise.
"The song belongs to the fans and is about the hope of following the England team.
"It was requested by the FA to be played as one of our team songs at the 2018 World Cup and at the Euros last summer, and this is our plan at tournaments going forwards."
Euro 96 hero Paul Gascoigne hit out at the reports, telling the newspaper the football anthem is "in our DNA".
"It helped us in 1996 and it’ll help the boys in Qatar. The FA have totally lost the plot.”
He added: “You can’t take that song off us. Sweet Caroline doesn’t come close. It would be like saying we can’t wave St George’s flags anymore. This woke nonsense has no place in football. It’s just a great song."
Critics have hit out at the reports, with fans bidding to save the anthem from being axed over fears other nations believe it is “arrogant” to sing about England being the home of football.
All 32 nations at the World Cup in Qatar in November and December must nominate a song to be played.
The 'It's Coming Home' tune has been used in the build-up to kick off at England games.
It's understood the FA are considering putting forward a different song for the pre-match anthem.
An England source told The Sun: "The FA have always countered the song’s negatives by stressing that it’s all about hope — but there’s a feeling it might be time for a change.
"We have a great squad and a great chance in Qatar so it might be better to look forward from now on rather than back.
"Gareth Southgate isn’t involved in the debate but he may well have decidedly mixed memories about 1996 after missing the penalty which knocked us out in the semi.
"Neil Diamond’s Sweet Caroline was a huge hit with fans singing their hearts out at Euro 2020 and must be a strong contender now.
"It has nothing to do with football but it’s a great feelgood song — and has absolutely no negativity attached to it.”
Three Lions became the official pre-match song in 1996 - when England lost on penalties in the semi-final against Germany.
England has failed to lift a trophy in every tournament since, losing out to Italy last summer.