Soccer-England players condemn booing of team mate Maguire

International Friendly - England v Ivory Coast
Soccer Football - International Friendly - England v Ivory Coast - Wembley Stadium, London, Britain - March 29, 2022 England's Harry Maguire reacts Action Images via Reuters/Carl Recine

March 30, 2022

(Reuters) -England players showed their support for Harry Maguire after the defender was booed by a section of fans during Tuesday’s 3-0 friendly win over Ivory Coast, with Jordan Henderson saying that Maguire has been a “colossus” for the team.

Maguire has been struggling for form at Manchester United and there were boos when his name was announced before kick off and early in the match when he touched the ball.

“I can’t get my head around what happened at Wembley tonight,” Henderson, who was an unused substitute, tweeted. “Harry Maguire has been a colossus for England.”

Maguire helped England reach the 2018 World Cup semi-finals and the European Championship final last year.

“Without him, the progress made at the last two tournaments would not have been possible,” Henderson added. “To be booed at his home stadium, for no reason? What have we become? What happened tonight was just wrong.”

Midfielder Jack Grealish also condemned the jeering and described Maguire as a “strong-minded person”.

“He’s been a fantastic servant for his country and it’s ridiculous for him to get booed. It wasn’t something the team liked,” Grealish said in the post-match news conference.

The sentiment was echoed by midfielder Declan Rice and striker Harry Kane, who also urged fans to show their support for Maguire.

“Absolute nonsense now it’s becoming. Back your own players. Especially with a major tournament coming up,” Rice said, referring to this year’s Qatar World Cup.

Kane tweeted: “The fact that he’s been brilliant on the pitch and given us all so many great memories makes it even harder to understand.

“He doesn’t deserve that reception. He’s got full support in the changing room and should have the same from every England fan.”

On Wednesday, Maguire tweeted a photo of himself in the England kit with the caption “Enjoyable week playing for my country”.

(Reporting by Manasi Pathak in Bengaluru; Editing by Peter Rutherford and Pritha Sarkar)