Southgate: England role makes political talk difficult ahead of World Cup

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Gareth Southgate says his position as England manager makes it difficult for him to speak out on political issues ahead of the World Cup in Qatar.

Harry Kane will be among several captains to wear a distinctive heart-adorned armband at the tournament, as part of the OneLove campaign against discrimination.

The captains of the Netherlands, Belgium, Denmark, France, Germany, Switzerland and Wales will also wear the armband in Qatar, where same-sex relationships are criminalised.

Speaking to Iranian football podcast Gol Bezan, Southgate insisted he always endeavours to "make a difference" through his role, but must also consider the consequences of his words.

"I think there is a balance," Southgate said. "Our first job is to create a good football team, and with our national teams, there is always the opportunity to affect things beyond football.

"When that's been in a situation that has directly affected us, for example experiences of racism as a team with players from lots of different backgrounds, who have had tough journeys in their lives, we have been able to speak about those things authentically and we have been able to make a difference.

"But then there are other things that are, politically, more difficult to be clear on. With the tournament being in Qatar, we have had to do a lot of research and be clear on what we might be able to affect and what we might not be able to affect, what areas the government is dealing with.

"I have a responsibility as a national manager. I can't just speak and not think about the consequences of the position I hold, so I am always assessing all of those things and, where we can make a difference, we'd like to.

"Where we're not as informed or there are cultural differences, we also acknowledge and are respectful that other countries have differences as well.

"It is complicated, and I'm not a university-educated guy. I'm a guy who left school at 16 and is trying his best to help where I can."

England midfielder Jordan Henderson, meanwhile, says onlookers will always expect those involved in the game to do more to combat social issues.

"When you do things as a team or as players, I'm always conscious that no matter what we do, it will never be enough," Henderson told BBC Sport.

"You've got to be satisfied in your own mind and know what you're doing you think is right and go with that."