Anton Ferdinand: England Should Be Banned From Hosting World Cup in 2030

·2-min read

Following England's shock elimination from Euro 2020 on Sunday evening, a wave of violence and online abuse followed the team's dramatic defeat. During the match, ticketless fans managed to break into London's Wembley Stadium — where the final took place — and, once England's fate was sealed, a torrent of online racist abuse was directed at Marcus Rashford, Jadon Sancho and Bukayo Saka, the three England players who missed their penalties in the closing minutes.

Met with condemnation around the world, the abhorrent acts of these England fans have led some to question the validity of the FA's proposed pitch to host the World Cup in 2023. Former West Ham and QPR player, Anton Ferdinand, for example, has suggested that England should no longer be permitted to host future international tournaments.

"Yes, there should be consequences, there definitely should be consequences. That's how people learn, but you've got to be willing to learn, that's the problem. You've got to be willing to understand and be open-minded on what it is, especially when talking about the discrimination side of things," said Ferdinand to the Press Association (PA).

"A lot of people who shout obscenities and things like that, they will never know what it's like to be racially abused, racially profiled, but what they can do is try to understand it."

"We're in a different generation now, what we're seeing is a multi-cultural stance. It's no longer just ethnic minorities speaking about this. So it's time for these bigots and these uneducated fools to get in tune with today's society."

"And for people who know it's wrong and don't want to speak out about it and check these people, you're also part of the problem. To combat this and try to eradicate it, everyone needs to speak about it, not just the people on the receiving end."

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On the flip-side, Ferdinand was quick to praise the camaraderie of the England squad under Southgate's tutelage. "The camaraderie in this team is why we got to the final, along with the quality of players in the team that we've got of course."

"But the camaraderie, the team spirit shone through for me more than anything. That togetherness, it expanded out into the masses of the nation."

"That's how powerful Gareth Southgate's stance, and the way that he's been dealing with these issues, that's how powerful it's been."

"So if there's anyone to model yourself on as a middle-aged white male, look at our leader of the FA in terms of our national team. Look at what he's achieved by opening his mind and understanding different cultures."

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