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England deny 'Football's Coming Home' anthem will be axed amid report it's too offensive to be used at Qatar World Cup

15:47 GMT+3 05/05/2022
England fans, Euro 2020
The Football Association has rubbished any suggestion that the famous ‘Three Lions’ tune could be removed from a national playlist

The Football Association has moved to rubbish reports suggesting that England’s famous ‘Three Lions’ anthem could be axed “amid concerns that is offends other nations”.

Said claim was made by tabloid newspaper The Sun, with the FA allegedly ready to remove a ‘Football’s Coming Home’ anthem from its playlist for home international fixtures at Wembley and another World Cup adventure that will be opened in Qatar later this year.

The song, which was first released back in 1996 ahead of a European Championship finals on English soil that summer, will not be going anywhere, though, as unsubstantiated claims from afar are being played down.

What has the FA said on ‘Three Lions’ being axed?

A statement from the FA reads: “Contrary to reports this morning, The FA still plays Three Lions at major Wembley matches and has never had any intention of doing otherwise.

“The song belongs to the fans and is about the hope of following the England team.

“It was requested by the FA to be played as one of our team songs at the 2018 World Cup and at the EUROs last summer, and this is our plan at tournaments going forwards.”

Are the FA fans of the ‘Three Lions’ song?

While moving to rubbish the reports suggesting that they are prepared to bin ‘Three Lions’, David Baddiel – who features on the track alongside Frank Skinner and The Lightning Seeds – has previously claimed that the FA are not fans.

The avid Chelsea supporter has said, with ‘Sweet Caroline’ being introduced as a potential rival to ‘Football’s Coming Home’: “Neil Diamond was set up as a kind of rival during the last Euro competition.

“There was a thing which my manager feels was actually a conspiracy set up by The FA — they don't really like Three Lions.

“I think it's the notion — misinterpreted by many people — that football's coming home means that England owns football and we are the homeland of football. Which historically is the case. We were the first one to ratify the rules of the game.

“But somehow that's offensive to other FAs - like the Croatian FA or whatever.”

Who will England face at the 2022 World Cup?

Other countries have taken issue with ‘Football’s Coming Home’ in the past, with Croatia and Italy looking to use the message it spreads across an expectant fan base in England as added motivation ahead of contests at the 2018 World Cup and Euro 2020 in which they dashed the Three Lions’ dreams.

Gareth Southgate’s side are ready to go again, though, and are counting down the days to another major finals in the Middle East.

A bid for a first World Cup triumph since 1966 will be opened against Iran on November 21, before then facing the United States on November 25.

A final Group B fixture will be taken in on November 29, but opposition in that contest is yet to be determined as certain UEFA play-offs have not been completed – with England potentially in line to face Wales or Scotland.

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