Jeremy Corbyn: Gareth Southgate's England are 'fantastic' role models

11 July 2021, 14:05 | Updated: 11 July 2021, 14:26

By Seán Hickey

The former Labour leader applauds Gareth Southgate and the England team for being 'fantastic' role models to 'multicultural, multiethnic' Britain.

"Football is a game of course, it's a sport but it gives girls and boys the chance to learn to support each other, play together as a team, it does an awful lot of good in our communities," Jeremy Corbyn told Tom Swarbrick when asked about his relationship with football.

Read More: King's Cross station evacuated after England fans let of flares ahead of Euro 2020 final

The former Labour leader spoke to Tom as England's mens team prepare for their first major final in 55 years.

Read More: Prince William 'can't believe this is happening' as England gear up for Euros final

Tom asked Mr Corbyn what he thought of the manner in which the England team have conducted themselves in this tournament, referencing their remarkable ability to represent England's multicultural society.

"The way Gareth Southgate has led the team and the way the team have performed and they way they've conducted themselves and shown our multicultural, multiethnic, multilingual society is fantastic. Well done to them."

Read More: David Lammy's stirring call to 'detoxify' UK in wake of England's Euro 2020 success

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Tom noted there have been "plenty of calls to not boo the Italian national anthem" and wondered whether it is not just part of football to do so.

"I go to Arsenal games and the arsenal supporters spend a lot of time booing Arsenal players" Mr Corbyn quipped, before adding that "when it comes to an international game it's slightly different."

Read More: 'We're in a final and we're here to win': Southgate's message to Italy

He told Tom that "there should be respect to the visiting side and to both teams – it's only the right and proper thing to do, it's not a lot to ask."

The former Labour leader concluded by pointing out the disparity between the top level and grassroots of football, despite all of England's heroes coming from grassroots teams.

Read More: Gareth Southgate now more popular than Churchill as odds slashed on knighthood

"We need to take a fresh chunk of money out of the Premier League and put it into grassroots football," he claimed.

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