Published: Fri, March 22, 2019
Sport | By Kayla Schwartz

England footballer Declan Rice apologises for pro-IRA Instagram post

England footballer Declan Rice apologises for pro-IRA Instagram post

Rice still has his support and Southgate hopes the majority of England fans who gather for Friday night's encounter with the Czech Republic also recognise the context of those posts and welcome a player who only last month confirmed he would be switching his allegiance from Ireland to England.

He concluded: "I sincerely apologise for any offence caused".

The FA will write to West Ham youngster Rice to remind him of his responsibilities, but Southgate called for understanding from the Wembley crowd should he make his England debut against the Czech Republic at Wembley tonight.

After hosting the Czech Republic at Wembley, England will travel to Montenegro to continue their campaign on Monday.

Southgate said: "I can only say I wouldn't hesitate to start either of them". Southgate said that both Sancho and his fellow 18-year-old Callum Hudson-Odoi both had his confidence that they would be ready if he needed either to start the game.

Rice, who was born and brought up in London, caused controversy earlier this year after switching worldwide allegiance from Ireland to England, despite making three senior friendly appearances for the Republic. "Next time I go there, I won't be getting involved as much".

Reuters  Carl Recine
Reuters Carl Recine

Gareth Southgate has had some injury concerns but the England boss will have enough top quality players to name a fighting first XI.

The emergence of new talent, not least from the young England sides winning worldwide tournaments, is a reason why Southgate wanted to remain with the team after the World Cup.

"I know a lot has been said about what's the selection policy".

"I've just got to look forward and forget about the past".

Marcus Rashford is a doubt for England's Euro 2020 qualifier against the Czech Republic after training separately from the rest of the squad.

"The future is bright really with all the young players coming through and how well they are doing, that's really good for England". I think we should have a bigger pool because for young kids joining the English academies, there should be the dream of being a professional player.

Tottenham striker Kane adamant England can win 2020 Euros
Both semi-finals and final will be held at the home of English football, as well as at least two of England's group games should they qualify.

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