Former England international Gary Neville says his refusal to sing God Save the Queen during the Euro 96 tournament was because of a protest against the Football Association.
A video of the ex-Manchester United right-back standing in stony silence as the national anthem is played has resurfaced online recently, after football fans argued that Liverpool defender Trent Alexander-Arnold had remained silent while his team-mates during England most recent Nations League game against Hungary on June 4th.
Some Liverpool fans booed the anthem as it was played ahead of the Carabao Cup FA Cup final against Chelsea earlier this year, with manager Jurgen Klopp calling the club’s supporters “wonderful people” who “had a reason to boo”.
However, Neville says he regrets not signing the anthem during the tournament on home soil, calling it a “big mistake” attributed to his “stubbornness”.
The Sky Sports pundit explained that he did not sing the album on its debut in England because he was concentrating on concentrating on it and later refused to do so when FA boss Geoff Thompson told him: “You must sing the anthem.”
“When I first played for England I didn’t sing it, partly because I thought, ‘I’m serious about my work and I don’t sing before a game’. I said, “Some suits don’t tell me what to do.”
Neville gave further insight into his handling of Thompson on the matter in a 2011 Daily Mail column.
‘He [Thompson] was always looking for a conversation with me,” Neville recalled. “Did he want to worry me about the preparation for the World Cup? Or are you asking how the FA could help behind the scenes? No, Mr. Thompson wanted to know why I didn’t sing the national anthem.
“Gary, we’d really appreciate it if you would join us,” he said. I had to politely explain that no disrespect was intended, I preferred to spend those few minutes, as I had my entire career, concentrating on the game. And that was the scope of my dealings with the Chairman of the FA.’
Neville, 47, made 85 appearances for England between 1995 and 2007.
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https://metro.co.uk/2022/06/23/gary-neville-reveals-reason-for-refusal-to-sing-god-save-the-queen-was-national-anthem-protest-16879313/ Gary Neville reveals reason for refusing to sing God Save the Queen was national anthem protest | Soccer