England has become a team that is committed to a cause. Whatever it is. Sometimes they are more common sense causes than others. Gareth Southgate's team intend to show their dissent with everything surrounding the Qatar 2022 World Cup once they close their qualification against San Marino.
The Three Lions decided to make the gesture of bending the knee in support of the Black Lives Matter movement that emerged after the death of George Floyd in May 2020. All the Premiership teams joined the movement, although there were players, such as the Spanish players, who did not support the gesture, although they did support the cause. Some teams, such as Championship side Brentford, have already stopped bending the knee because they believe it had no impact.
The England team have encountered hostile camps with the Black Lives Matters movement, for example, in Hungary where they had to travel to face their national team in World Cup qualifying group I.
Conor Coady, the Wolverhampton England international, is the leader of the movement and has already commented that "we are not robots, we are human, we are seeing things in the news that happen every day. If there's any way players can help in the future and help in different situations, I'm sure we as players and England will try to do that," he said.
Germany, the Netherlands and Norway have also staged protests against the World Cup in Qatar and the deaths caused by the construction of the stadiums. They complain about the lack of job security and the long and poorly paid working days. In no case have these teams refused to play the World Cup and England are not expected to take a radical stance.
Southgate's side have always been vocal on social issues such as child poverty and British public health and it is to be expected that they will also take a stand against Qatar 2022 although it remains to be seen what message they will send out before the tournament begins.
FIFA is very concerned about the performances of the teams during the World Cup in November 2022. They do not want Qatar to suffer a bad image when they have invested so much money in infrastructure for the event.
Controversy has surrounded the choice of Qatar to host a World Cup for years. Altering the calendars of European leagues to host the event in the northern hemisphere winter and with two months of the tournament is something that has not gone down well with many federations.
It will be the last World Cup before FIFA decides on 20 December 2021 what decision it will take on the future of football. The big meeting with all the players where the new era of professional football will be decided.