The Three Lions, who return to action against Hungary in Budapest tonight in a World Cup qualifying match, suffered heartbreak at Wembley against Italy in July, losing a penalty shootout following a 1-1 draw.
The clash was overshadowed by the shocking behaviour of thousands of ticketless supporters who tried to force their way into the stadium, causing mayhem.
Gareth Southgate believes his England team could be forced to play in an empty stadium after ugly scenes involving fans at the Euro 2020 final
Hordes of supporters tried to storm their way into Wembley to catch England in action v Italy
UEFA have investigated the shameful scenes and are expected to reveal England’s punishment imminently — and it could include the drastic measure of them playing in an empty home stadium. England players will continue their stand against racism in Budapest tonight by taking the knee before kick-off, which is expected to be booed by Hungary supporters.
Asked about the prospect of that, Southgate insisted England must overcome its own problems before pointing the finger at others.
‘It won’t be unique for them to be booed for taking a knee because that happened at Middlesbrough (during the Euros warm-up games),’ said Southgate, who could hand Manchester City’s £100million signing Jack Grealish an outing on Thursday night.
Crowd behaviour was condemned by figures in football as it overshadowed the spectacle
‘We still don’t know what the outcome of the investigation into our final is going to be and maybe we end up with a stadium ban.
‘We shouldn’t look elsewhere until our own house is in order.
‘While we are always vigilant in preparing our team for whatever they may face, I have always been brought up that when I’m a guest somewhere I show due respect.
‘We have a long way to go ourselves before we start to pre-empt what might happen in a game somewhere else.’
England players are planning to take the knee before their World Cup qualifier against Hungary
Hungary fans are expected to boo the gesture, but Southgate wants his side to ‘get our own house in order’ before they look to others
Hungary midfielder Andras Schafer implored his team’s supporters, who have been punished for racism in the past, to behave. ‘Fans need to know that they are our biggest weapon and we want it to stay that way, so we ask them to avoid racist (incidents),’ he said.
Thursday night’s World Cup qualifier will be England’s first game since the agonising Euro 2020 final — and Southgate believes the only way for his players to overcome the disappointment is to triumph in Qatar next year.
‘We probably need to win a World Cup final, because nothing else is really going to compare to the level of the game we were involved in,’ said Southgate.
‘Whatever we do in the next 18 months has got to be leading us towards challenging in a World Cup.’