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Gareth Southgate gives honest answer when asked about England's quick kick-off v Croatia

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England suffered the heartbreak of losing a World Cup semi-final on penalties back in 1990 and now, 28 years later, suffered the heartbreak of losing a World Cup semi-final in extra-time.

It doesn’t get more devastating than that.

Of course, the Three Lions did the whole nation proud but there will definitely be a feeling of ‘what if’ after losing to Croatia on Wednesday.

What if Harry Kane had put England 2-0 ahead before half-time?

What if Kyle Walker hadn’t switched off to allow Ivan Perisic to steal in and equalise?

What if Gareth Southgate’s side that just held on for 11 minutes longer to force the match into penalties?

Or what if the referee had allowed Jesse Lingard and Marcus Rashford’s attempt to take a kick-off when Croatia were celebrating Mario Madzukic’s extra-time winner?

Many teams have been, bizarrely, under the impression that if all of the opposition players leave the pitch during celebrations, they’re entitled to take kick-off.

We’ve already seen Portugal ensure one of their players stay on the pitch as they they celebrated their last-minute equaliser against Cristiano Ronaldo, while Panama attempted to take a quick kick-off against England in the group stages.

So was the attempt by England planned?

Well, not according to Gareth Southgate - who admitted he was rather surprised to see it happen.

"I think there was a lot of social media discussion about people celebrating and having only one player on the pitch and nobody seemed to know the rules,” the England boss said.

"A lot of teams were unsure whether they could kick off or not.

"It wasn't something we discussed but we had worked out as staff for when we celebrate that the rule doesn't exist. I don't know why the boys did it but we know the rule is in place.

"You can't kick off again until the ref is ready so it's irrelevant."

Oh, and the answer to the previous: What if the referee had allowed Jesse Lingard and Marcus Rashford’s attempt to take a kick-off when Croatia were celebrating Mario Madzukic’s extra-time winner?

The answer would be VAR ruling it out for offside. Replays showed Lingard actually passed the ball forwards to Rashford meaning he would be been adjudged to be offside with no opponents in their half.

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England can’t even cheat properly.

Topics:
Football
Gareth Southgate
Croatia Football
Ivan Perisic
Marcus Rashford
Portugal Football
Jesse Lingard
Harry Kane
England Football
World Cup
Premier League
Kyle Walker
Cristiano Ronaldo

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