Nigel Farage has issued a plea to England manager Gareth Southgate, calling on him to keep politics out of football.
In a video posted on Mr Farage’s social media accounts, the former Brexit Party leader warned England would be in for a “horrible, divisive few weeks” if the England team doesn’t change tack and recognise the booing from supporters is not against anti-racist sentiment but against perceived support for a Marxist political organisation, Black Lives Matter.
“I have a fear that Gareth Southgate is putting himself out of touch with his own fans and with the country,” said Farage. “Now look, we know he’s got a lot of black players in his team, we also know that footballers receive a huge amount of abuse for whatever reason, and I’ve no doubt that some of it is racial and unpleasant and the players absolutely hate it.
“But, what Southgate has done is fallen into the trap of saying that he’s keener for the England players to take the knee than ever.
“In the last two games including tonight against Romania, as they take the knee before the game, the fans are booing. Is that because they are insulting the black members of the team? No, not a bit of it. It’s because the great British public have sussed it, they’ve woken up to the fact that taking the knee to the Black Lives Matter organisation isn’t about equality of opportunity, isn’t about racial justice. It’s about a Marxist organisation that wants to defund the police force, that wants to bring down Western capitalism, bring down our whole way of life and replace it with a new Communist order.
“Soccer fans will go on booing all summer,” predicted Farage who suggested that the England manager and some of the England football team “just don’t seem to understand what is going on here.”
“Now, in a way, why should they? They’re not political figures or public affairs commentators. But the moral of the story is very simple. All sporting events should stay completely out of politics, not get engaged with any political gestures of any kind whatsoever. No good can come it! And I fear we’re headed for a summer where England football fans and their own team are going to find themselves in opposition to each other.
“I would urge Gareth Southgate, please just read the website of Black Lives Matter. Understand what it’s all about and commit yourself to getting on with producing a great football team and not getting involved in politics at all.
“Please Gareth, do it. Otherwise we’re in for a really horrible, divisive few weeks.”