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Declan Rice Addresses His 'Up The Ra' Comments From 2015

Declan Rice Addresses His 'Up The Ra' Comments From 2015

It reads: "I am aware that a poorly-expressed comment I made when I was a junior player has been circulated on social media".

I recognise now that my attempt to show support for my team-mates at the time could be negatively interpreted.

Gareth Southgate said the controversy surrounding Declan Rice will not affect whether or not the West Ham midfielder makes his England debut in their opening Euro 2020 qualifier against Czech Republic.

"While my naive words were not meant to be a political opinion and do not represent who I am, I sincerely apologize for any offense caused".

With promising teenagers Jadon Sancho and Callum Hudson-Odoi and 20-year-old Declan Rice joining an England squad already bolstered by the rise of Harry Kane, Raheem Sterling, Marcus Rashford and Dele Alli, among others, Henderson is enjoying the fresh feel to a group that plays without fear.

'I can only say I wouldn't hesitate to start either of them, ' Southgate said of Sancho and Hudson-Odoi.

"He's been with the medical team all week", said Southgate at a press conference.

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Southgate will talk to Rice about the incident and the Football Association confirmed they will write to the midfielder to remind him of his responsibilities, but the England manager does not expect the conversation between them to be punitive in tone.

Rice, who was born and brought up in London, caused controversy earlier this year after switching global allegiance from Ireland to England, despite making three senior friendly appearances for the Republic.

"I think people understand".

"I know a lot has been said about what's the selection policy".

"However, I am just as proud of my family's Irish heritage and my affinity and connection with the country".

"I've just got to look forward and forget about the past". Most people who have children of those sorts of ages [understand] that children are still maturing at that age.

'That's a great benchmark for us, and with the quality of young players coming through, there is no reason we should allow those standards to drop, because there's real competition for places. "Our fans or our public will understand that fact".