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16th Oct 2023

Jordan Henderson says he doesn’t understand why he was booed by England fans

Callum Boyle

Jordan Henderson

Henderson was booed during England’s win against Australia

Jordan Henderson has said that he couldn’t understand why he was booed by England fans during their win against Australia.

Henderson started in the 1-0 win against Australia on Friday night after Ollie Watkins’ second half but was booed in what was likely to be a response to his move to Saudi Arabia in the summer.

The 33-year-old was often praised for being a strong advocate for  equality and inclusion, in particular the LGBT community however his decision to join Al Ettifaq has been met with huge backlash given Saudi Arabia’s awful human rights record.

‘I still want to play for England as long as I possibly can’ – Jordan Henderson

Gareth Southgate defended Henderson after Friday’s win at Wembley Stadium and said he couldn’t understand the reception Henderson was given, something the midfielder is also struggling to understand.

“Everybody has got their own opinion. I love playing for England, I have done for many years, that’s why I’m still here,” he said on Sunday.

“I still want to play for England for as long as I possibly can and give everything for the team, for my country. It’s not nice, your own fans booing. But listen, people have got their own opinions. Whenever I bump into anyone on the street it’s always been positive stuff and nice things said.

“If people want to boo if I’m playing in a different country, that’s fine. Everyone is going to have an opinion when I’m playing over in Saudi. I’ve spoken in the past about the reasons for that. Whether people believe me or not is up to them.”

Jordan Henderson

‘I’m not a politician’ – Jordan Henderson

When asked if he was surprised by the reaction of the LGBT community, he said: “No, because I can understand the reasons in what they’re saying. I look at it from a different point of view, obviously.

“But I can understand it and I’ve got to take that on the chin. But as I keep on saying, it doesn’t change the person that I am. I’m playing football in a different country in Saudi where I want to try to improve the game on the pitch but also things off the pitch as well.

“I’m not a politician. I’m not going to get into politics. All I’ve ever done is concentrate on my football and try to help people that have asked for my help.”

The former Liverpool man came in for more criticism in recent days after he was seen promoting Saudi Arabia after they confirmed their intentions to host the World Cup in 2034.

“I’ve been there for two months and there’s been no issues in terms of fans or anything like that.

“I think they’ll enjoy the experience there. When we look at Qatar, the way they did the job there – it was a good tournament.

“I think the fans enjoyed the tournament and I think Saudi would be no different.”

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