'Look out for each other' - England boss Southgate writes to fans
LONDON – England boss Gareth Southgate has urged fans to "look out for each other" in an open letter on Friday as Britain continues to battle with the coronavirus pandemic.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson has closed all schools and cancelled forthcoming exams for students with many businesses also closing in a struggling economy.
In football terms, England should have been preparing to face Italy and Denmark in now postponed friendlies at the end of month and this summer's Euro 2020 has been delayed by 12 months to 2021.
"For everyone in our country, the primary focus of the present - and the coming months - is undoubtedly to look after our families," Southgate writes.
"In the way you've all come together to support our team, we must now work together to combat a virus that is causing physical and emotional issues to so many."
"Look out for each other," Southgate added.
"Please don't suffer alone, and remember that our great country has come through these enormous challenges before - and, together, we will do so again."
Southgate's letter continued to praise hospital staff and medical workers as "heroes."
"They won't receive the individual acclaim," he wrote. "But we all know their importance is beyond anything we do on the pitch."
In summary, Southgate said this summer's postponed Euros should be forgotten but added that every member of his squad will have their chance next year.
"We shouldn't spend another moment thinking about the postponement of the competition," Southgate said.
"I feel sure that, when that moment comes, I will never have been prouder to be the leader."dpa