Football

Southgate on biennial World Cup: Stop adding to the calendar

England manager Gareth Southgate has added his voice to those opposing Fifa's biennial World Cup plans, saying yesterday that the authorities can't keep adding to the players' workload.

When asked about the plan last month, Southgate had said he was "open minded" about it.

But, when asked about it again yesterday, he appeared to have changed his stance.

"I don't know how far things have progressed. There seemed to be a lot of things not in the original proposal I was shown," he said, ahead of England's World Cup qualifier against Hungary tomorrow morning (Singapore time).

"We all want high-level games. The Nations League showed the quality and that is exactly what we want to be involved in. But you can't just keep adding to the calendar."

England's Chelsea midfielder Mason Mount believes that Fifa should consult the players before making a decision.

"As players, we want to play in top tournaments and top games, to get our opinion would be good," said the 22-year-old.

Despite fielding fringe players, England thrashed Andorra 5-0 last week to consolidate their lead at the top of Group I, and Southgate admitted he will be making changes to his line-up when they host Hungary at Wembley.

Phil Foden, Jadon Sancho, Bukayo Saka, Jack Grealish, Tammy Abraham and James Ward-Prowse's involvement in the goals against Andorra showed the many options that Southgate has at his disposal.

When asked if Foden, who starred with his passing ability, had given him a selection headache, Southgate said: "I have a headache and I commit a crime every time I pick a team.

"We have so many good players and such good, strong competition for places. There were lots of players that did their own confidence and their own reputations a lot of good and that is pleasing to see."

England trounced Hungary 4-0 last month. Since then, the Hungarians had two 1-0 defeats by second-placed Albania , sandwiching a 2-1 win over Andorra.

Football