GARETH SOUTHGATE has poured cold water on plans for the England wives and girlfriends to star in a fly-on-the-wall World Cup documentary.
In fact, the Three Lions boss doesn’t even call them “daredevils” because he says the phrase is disrespectful.
The Sun reported on Sunday that a leading television company is hoping to secure an all-area pass to film players’ partners during November’s World Cup in Qatar.
But family man Southgate is clearly not enthusiastic about the idea, saying: “It’s really not my cup of tea.
“And I’d be surprised if the group of players we have were interested in it because they want to focus on football.
“That happened at the last World Cup in Russia and at the European Championships last summer. It was about the players and everything they do.
“We like to involve families when we can and we want them to feel welcome.
“I don’t like the term pranksters because I think it’s pretty disrespectful. It’s their partners and their families.
“We invited them to the team hotel four years ago when we could in Russia. But we couldn’t do it last year because of Covid.
“Moms, dads and especially the kids, it’s a great feeling to have them in because it changes the dynamic of the hotel.
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“It’s a big family and I think everyone recognizes that some of our work has been very good over the past few years.”
Southgate is aware that England’s World Cup campaign in Germany in 2006 has been constantly overshadowed by the antics of the players’ partners in Baden-Baden.
And he wants to make sure his players aren’t distracted in Qatar, planning for the players’ families to stay on a luxury cruise ship in Qatar and occasionally visit the team hotel.
Captain Harry Kane is also keen to avoid distractions that could distract England from the task in the Middle East.
He said: “I think Gareth [Southgate] hit the nail on the head.
“We created this really good environment where friends and family, girlfriends and wives were part of the team and the group, especially when we were away.
“Of course, last summer was a little different, but I wasn’t contacted about my wife [being involved] and she doesn’t have it, so I’m not sure whose has it.
“We want to concentrate on the World Cup and not distract from it.”