England team look set to get Downing Street reception

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But Number 10 was coy on whether manager Gareth Southgate could receive a knighthood.

Gareth Southgate

England’s World Cup squad look set to win a Downing Street reception in their honour when they return from Russia.

Number 10 is to discuss the move with the FA after Theresa May heaped praise on England manager Gareth Southgate after the team’s thrilling World Cup run.

A spokeswoman for the Prime Minister said: “We would certainly like to host a reception for the England football team who did so well in Russia and that is something that we are going to talk to the FA about.”

Mrs May was unable to watch the game against Croatia, which saw England crash out of the competition, due to a Nato summit but insisted everyone should be proud of what England achieved.

The PM’s spokeswoman said: “She thinks that he led the team fantastically and that the whole country should be proud of how far England got.”

Asked if Southgate was in line for a knighthood, the PM’s spokeswoman said: “In terms of honours, and things like that, there is an independent robust process for how that system works, so I can’t speculate about that.

“But, certainly she thinks he did a fantastic job and thinks the players and fans can look forward to a bright future.”

Mrs May’s spokeswoman added: “She wishes the England team well for the match on Saturday against Belgium.”

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