Southgate says booing of Maguire ‘an absolute joke’

March 29, 2022 GMT
England's coach Gareth Southgate ahead of an international friendly soccer match between England and Ivory Coast at Wembley stadium in London, Tuesday, March 29, 2022. (AP Photo/Ian Walton)
England's coach Gareth Southgate ahead of an international friendly soccer match between England and Ivory Coast at Wembley stadium in London, Tuesday, March 29, 2022. (AP Photo/Ian Walton)
England's coach Gareth Southgate ahead of an international friendly soccer match between England and Ivory Coast at Wembley stadium in London, Tuesday, March 29, 2022. (AP Photo/Ian Walton)
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England's coach Gareth Southgate ahead of an international friendly soccer match between England and Ivory Coast at Wembley stadium in London, Tuesday, March 29, 2022. (AP Photo/Ian Walton)
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England's coach Gareth Southgate ahead of an international friendly soccer match between England and Ivory Coast at Wembley stadium in London, Tuesday, March 29, 2022. (AP Photo/Ian Walton)

LONDON (AP) — England coach Gareth Southgate criticized the fans who jeered Harry Maguire before and during the team’s 3-0 win over the Ivory Coast on Tuesday.

“I thought the reception was a joke, an absolute joke,” Southgate said of the boos of some England fans when Maguire’s name was read out at Wembley Stadium.

“What he has done for us, the way he has performed for England — I don’t get it. We are either in this all together or we are not.”

Maguire has endured a disappointing season at club level with Manchester United but has been a solid and reliable performer for England, helping the team reach the European Championship final just eight months ago.

“He is in an England shirt,” Southgate said, “and not only should you support a player in an England shirt regardless, but when he has played at the level he has and put the performances in for us he has, it should be total commitment behind him.

“I don’t get that at all. His performance was pretty faultless, really.”

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