England players will address Qatar concerns after World Cup qualification is secured - Conor Coady

Conor Coady insists England will not travel to Qatar next year ignorant of the human rights criticisms surrounding that country’s hosting of the World Cup.

Conor Coady: England will discuss their approach after they secure qualification to World Cup.

Qatar has been heavily condemned by organisations such as Amnesty International over the way migrant workers have been treated during the construction of facilities for the tournament in 2022.

England defender Coady admits conversations have not been had within the squad because they have been focusing on ensuring the team qualify for the event. But with their place almost certain to be confirmed on Monday – England need just a point from their final qualifier against winless minnows San Marino – the issues will have to be confronted at some point.

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A number of current England players, including Marcus Rashford, Raheem Sterling and Jordan Henderson, have been widely praised for the social conscience they have shown in relation to various matters. With that in mind, Coady does not think the Qatar question will be avoided.

England's Harry Kane (right) celebrates scoring their side's second goal against Albania with Jordan Henderson (Picture: PA)

Coady said: “First and foremost a conversation hasn’t been had yet.

“Obviously we are seeing quite a lot that is in the news at the minute.

“With us we’ve always said that we make sure we do our job first, we make sure we try to get to that competition as quickly and as positively as we can. Then I’m sure the conversation will be had with the players.

“I think an incredible thing that comes out of this England squad is that people try to make a difference all the time, and that is constantly happening with people in the squad. People are trying to use that platform.

“If there is any way players can help going forward and help in different situations, I am sure us as players, and us as part of the England set-up, will try to do that.

“Of course we are obviously seeing things, we are not robots, we are humans, we are seeing things in the news that are going on every day and we are seeing things that are going on at the minute.

“But I think we’ve always said to ourselves over the last year that the most important thing is to get to where we want to be, which is to Qatar, and honestly speak about the situation when the time is right.”

England need just a point from San Marino but Gareth Southgate insists he will treat the side ranked lowest in the world with the same respect as any other opponent, having hinted Harry Kane could start.

The Three Lions captain hit a hat-trick in Friday’s 5-0 win over Albania, which leaves England top of Group I.

Collecting the match ball also saw Kane move level with Jimmy Greaves on 44 goals for England – just nine behind Wayne Rooney’s all-time record.

Kane was an unused substitute in the home win over San Marino and also warmed the bench for both World Cup qualifiers against Andorra, coming on to score in the 4-0 home victory in September.

Now, though, with the record moving into sight, Kane will be keen to take his chance against the team ranked 210th and last in the world – and Southgate has refused to rule out starting his captain in San Marino.

“With Harry, I don’t think it would be right to treat this game any differently to any other by giving you the team,” Southgate replied when asked if Kane would start.

“But, for sure, he is keen to play. He wants to play. We have got to make sure we get this game won and we still have to try to qualify for the World Cup.

“I said that I would treat San Marino with the respect that I would treat every other opponent. We are always thinking about having the right balance.”

Gratitude to Kane: Page 4