The British government has been a source of controversy throughout the European Championship, most recently attracting the ire of Gary Neville.
The former defender took an opportunity to highlight the disparity in the “standard” of leadership on offer from Gareth Southgate’s England outfit and that of the political hierarchy.
“I have to say Gareth Southgate, his team, the staff, the players, everyone have been absolutely unbelievable and this crowd is mesmerised being in this stadium right now,” the ex-Red Devil was quoted as saying by SportBible.
“The standard of leaders in this country over the last couple of years has been poor but looking at that man there that’s everything a leader should be.
“Respectful, humble, tells the truth, genuine, He’s fantastic Gareth Southgate. He really is unbelievable and has done a great job.”
Following the 2-1 victory over Denmark in the Euros semi-final, the Three Lions are set for an exciting meeting with Roberto Mancini’s Italy.
Key members of the Conservative Party, from Priti Patel to Prime Minister Boris Johnson, in particular, attracted critique for their refusal to condemn England supporters booing the national side for taking the knee in a public display against racism.
The unity on offer from Southgate’s men is certainly encouraging, though the lack of backing from the British government is perceived by many to detract from the continuing battle against racism in the sport and beyond.
Nonetheless, the Euros final could represent a fantastic opportunity for England to not only banish the demons of its footballing past but continue to demonstrate its values on the international stage.