Why Graeme Souness demanded Gareth Southgate ask FA to ban 'Football's Coming Home'

England fans have been reinvigorated after a tough year in lockdown as the national side has dazzled its way to the semi-finals of Euro 2020. It comes following an emphatic win over old foes Germany and a dominating 4-0 performance in the quarter-finals to send Andriy Shevchenko’s side back to Ukraine. Across the nation, England supporters have been belting out ‘Three Lions (Football’s Coming Home)’ a hit by David Baddiel, Frank Skinner and The Lightning Seeds which celebrated the Euros being played in England in 1996.

The song has regained popularity as it resonates with supporters’ hope that England will one day replicate their 1966 World Cup success, but Souness claimed the song acts more to inspire opposition players.

Writing for the Sunday Times after England were knocked out of the World Cup by Croatia in 2018, he stated: “If I was Gareth Southgate, sitting down to write his Russia 2018 report for the FA, then top of my notepad would be the following – never allow that song, Football’s Coming Home, to be played again during a major tournament.

“Football’s coming home, is it? So, England effectively own the sport. I don’t think so.

“They didn’t have a monopoly on it when their teams and the FA were big players in the global power game back in the last century, and they don’t now.”

The former Liverpool player’s comments came days after Croatian midfielder Luka Modric dubbed England “arrogant” and accused the English media of underestimating his side.

And Souness appeared to agree.

He added: “You can say ‘it’s just a song, only a bit of fun,’ but if I’m an opposition player, it would irritate the life out of me.

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“That’s my motivation there and then, and that’s how Croatia said they had channelled the song.

“These are not the words of a bitter and twisted Scotsman. I have spent most of my working life in England and want to see the national team do well.

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“No one really thought we’d win it.

“I totally get why you might think it was arrogance, but it’s more our self-deprecatory sense of humour.”

England will now face Denmark in the semi-final on Wednesday in front of 60,000 fans at Wembley.

The game will be shown on ITV – the channel Souness has been a key part of as a pundit during the tournament.

And Lightning Seeds frontman, Ian Broudie, will be hoping to hear his song once more.

He told Sky Sports how it still “makes him smile” when he hears fans walking past his house singing it “late at night”.


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