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Gareth Southgate believes recent pitch invasions symbolise a much bigger issue

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Gareth Southgate speaks out on football fans latest behavioural issues.

After a slew of incidents have put a bad name on English football, like Patrick Vieira’s fan kicking incident and Billy Sharp’s assault, Gareth Southgate has made his disapproval known as things continue to get worse for England supporters.

“There’s clearly a responsibility within football because, when it’s in our environment, we’ve got to do all we can to try to make sure it doesn’t happen,” said Southgate.

“We all recognise that, but it’s a wider problem. It’s behaviour and a reflection on where we are as a country.”

While it is football fans getting caught up in the trouble, Southgate was quick to point out that that doesn’t mean it’s the fault of football.

“Football reflects society so it will be easy for some people just to put it onto football but that’s not the reality of it.”

Dealing with the issues that are cropping up will not be an easy one, but Southgate believes football organisations have to play their part in addressing it.

“We have to look at what we’re doing in terms of parenting. What are the expectations?

“How do we want to be viewed as a country because that’s manifesting itself in football at the moment and that’s not a good look.

“Football’s got a responsibility and we have to do our bit, we have to get that right.”

Behind closed doors

England will face Italy behind doors due to previous behavioural concerns from their Euro 2020 final, where fans without tickets made their way into Wembley and harassed stewards.

Southgate spoke out on the situation and addressed the ’embarrassment of a situation.

“What happened here, before our final, that wasn’t just football supporters, that was people who were just unable to behave and control themselves.”

“So we are where we are. We’ve got the embarrassment now of playing behind closed doors at home.

“Normally when you watch those things having happened abroad we’re all grandstanding about how it’s someone else’s problem and how this country should be dealt with… now it’s us.

“That’s not a good optic for our country.”

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