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Pride in England's most diverse team

PROUD: England squad

IT USED TO BE the case that if you asked black football fans who they were supporting during World Cup tournaments the answer would be anyone but England.

They would be more likely to get black fans supporting Brazil or any of the African or Caribbean teams who were playing.

However during this tournament this seems to have changed.

People of all backgrounds have rallied behind the national team’s most diverse line up – 11 of the 23-man squad are black or mixed-race.

Research for British Future shows that the England foot- ball team is seen by the public as the symbol of England that most belongs to people of every faith and ethnic background.

With this in mind, The Voice spoke to members of the public in south London about why they had supported England.

Gerran Simsa: “I’m not really much of a football fan but I do think that England have done extremely well, against all expectations. After 28 years, this was a really big thing.”

Done Okusu: “It’s been really great to follow England. It’s a team that represents all of us. When Nigeria and Senegal went out of the competition I was gutted but I understand why. Senegal could have won their game but they were holding out for a draw, which is a risk so they’ll learn from it. Regarding Nigeria, everything is wrong with Nigeria. Having said that it’s really great to see the England team did so well.”

Rama Grace: “I think England have done really well. Their journey has brought everyone together and make things much more united in Britain. Football is a massive part of the culture.”

Hans Mpongo: “It’s a massive achievement for England to have got to the semi finals. It has been an amazing journey to follow the team, which is a very diverse team, and the whole country has been behind them.”

Jay Townsend: “I think for England to have made it to the seminals just shows their capabilities as a team. They went from having all odds stacked against them to now being one of the most talked about teams. No wonder everyone has got behind them.”

Mr Odega: “I am very proud of England . It’s nice to see such a diverse team that everyone can get behind.”

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