• “I don’t like the term. It’s their partners and family,” he said. “We want them to feel welcome.”
• The phrase ‘Wag’ came into common use during the 2006 World Cup, when pop stars Victoria Beckham and Cheryl Cole were among the partners who travelled to Germany with the England squad and regularly featured in the British tabloid newspapers.
England manager Gareth Southgate says the term ‘Wags’ is “disrespectful”.
A documentary has reportedly been proposed, following the England players’ wives and girlfriends before the World Cup in Qatar later this year.
Southgate said the idea is “not my cup of tea” and that he would “be surprised” if it comes to fruition.
“I don’t like the term. It’s their partners and family,” he said. “We want them to feel welcome.”
The phrase ‘Wag’ came into common use during the 2006 World Cup, when pop stars Victoria Beckham and Cheryl Cole were among the partners who travelled to Germany with the England squad and regularly featured in the British tabloid newspapers.
Players’ families and partners attracted far less attention at the 2018 World Cup in Russia, when Southgate invited them into the team hotel, but he was unable to do the same last summer as England hosted most of their games during their run to the Euro 2020 final.
“I’d be surprised if the group of players we have got would have interest in [the proposed documentary] because they’ve wanted to focus on the football,” Southgate said.
“The focus in Russia and last summer was all about the players and everything they do and we’ve never had any issues.
“We like to involve the families. It’s a great feel when you’ve got the kids in especially. It changes the dynamic of the hotel.
“We couldn’t do that last year because of Covid, but it’s one big family. Everybody recognises that part of what we do has been very good over the last couple of years.”
Speaking beside Southgate at a news conference on Monday, England captain Harry Kane said: “I think Gareth hit the nail on the head.
“We’ve created this really good environment where friends and family, girlfriends and wives, have been part of the team and the group, especially when we’ve been away.
“Last summer was a bit different obviously, but I’ve not been contacted about my wife [being involved in the documentary] and she hasn’t, so I’m not sure whose has. We want to focus on the World Cup and we don’t want any distraction from that.”