England's players could join other players for collective action in Qatar, as Sports Editor Steve Scott reports
It would be a “real shame” if some England fans miss out on the World Cup because of repressive laws in Qatar, captain Harry Kane has said.
Sexual acts between people of the same sex in the country are illegal, same-sex marriages are not recognised by the government and women’s rights are much tighter than in some other parts of the world.
Accusations concerning the treatment of migrant workers and a poor record of human rights have plagued the Gulf state since it was controversially awarded the finals in 2010.
Three Lions boss Gareth Southgate admits it is a “great shame” that sections of England supporters will not travel to Qatar for the World Cup this winter and stressed that no one is “complacent” about the issues involved.
Speaking to ITV News, Kane said: “Yeah that’s really sad.
"The bottom line is we feel like football is for all, it’s for all our fans to go an enjoy and the World Cup is such an amazing experience for players to play in, for fans to witness.
“So, the thought of not having some of our fans there would be a real shame, so I hope - and we hope - that Qatar do everything possible to make sure everyone feels safe and comfortable watching those games and supporting those games.
“So all we can do is, like I say, hope that Qatar make it as easy as possible for everyone to have a really great experience.”
'Football is for all': Harry Kane says he hopes Qatar will do everything to accommodate all fans
Southgate led a meeting with the squad on Tuesday night to discuss the issues, with Kane revealing the conversation ran for over half an hour.
Meanwhile, as Russia confirms its interest in hosting the European Championships in 2028 or 2032 alongside England's joint bid, Kane said his thoughts are with the people of Ukraine.
Asked if he would play in Russia, he told ITV News: “That’s a real hard question to answer, my thoughts and all our thoughts are with the people of Ukraine at this time."
Would Harry Kane play in Russia in 2028? 'I don’t know - it’s a long time away'
He added: “And, obviously, at this time not understanding the whole situation and what’s going on is hard to take - and from what I have seen it’s really sad to see what Ukraine are going through.
“So, to answer your question, I don’t know - it’s a long time away.
“I really hope that we as a nation get that tournament and obviously Ireland, and hopefully I can be playing in front of a Wembley crowd for a major tournament after coming so close last summer.”