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Southgate Defends Sterling Amid Tattoo Controversy

Raheem Sterling
England's midfielder Raheem Sterling displays a tattoo of an assault rifle on his lower leg during a training session at St George's Park in Burton-on-Trent on May 28, 2018, ahead of their international friendly football matches against Nigeria and Costa Rica. (Photo by OLI SCARFF / AFP) / NOT FOR MARKETING OR ADVERTISING USE / RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE (Photo credit should read OLI SCARFF/AFP/Getty Images)

England manager Gareth Southgate has come out and defended England winger Raheem Sterling following the winger getting a tattoo of a rifle on his leg.

Following controversy from the media in England with some people even coming out and saying that he should be dropped from the squad for the upcoming World Cup in Russia and be made to have the tattoo removed. However Sterling came out and said that the tattoo relates to his father who was shot dead when Raheem was only two years old. So he vowed never to touch a gun in his life and the tattoo is on his right leg because he is right footed. However anti-gun campaigners seemed to believe that he was endorsing the use of firearms.

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Gareth Southgate said in his press conference before England’s World Cup warm up game against Nigeria.  He said he has spoken to Raheem about the whole situation and ensured that he has support all around him as well as the Football Association backing him. Southgate also said that  “He is tough and I have no doubts that he can more than cope and thrive in the environment we are going into.”

This is not coming at an ideal time for the squad and Sterling personally because all eyes are on the upcoming World Cup with two warm-up games against Nigeria and Costa Rica before jetting off the Russia.

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Southgate has fully defended Sterling by saying it’s a great example to young footballers and he embodies the spirit because quite a lot of the England squad has had quite a remarkable story to get to where they are today, other stories include Jamie Vardy working his way up through the leagues despite being released at the age of 15. Nick Pope has a similar story with working as a milkman in previous years before making it to the Premier League and then the England squad for the World Cup.

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