England families hit by beer cups 'from all angles'

Belgium ended runners-up in Group E to Romania, with four points from three matches and means Domenico Tedesco's men must face World Cup finalists France next.

Defender Ezri Konsa says the families and friends of England players were hit by beer cups thrown “from all angles” after their goalless draw with Slovenia.

A couple of plastic cups were aimed in the direction of boss Gareth Southgate as he applauded them from the pitch after the Euro 2024 Group C stalemate on Tuesday.

According to Aston Villa’s Konsa more were hurled around the stands in Cologne at full-time, with the section seating the players’ friends and families affected.

Konsa said the players knew Southgate had been targeted but have “not spoken about it as players” or raised it with him.

It has been reported, external that the players’ partners and friends were neither recognised nor deliberately targeted by those who threw the cups.

“We were aware of it because I think some of our family members got hit with a few drinks,” he said.

“We check on them. There’s kids in the stands with family so we always have to check on them, reassure them and ask if they’re all right.”

England topped Group C and will face Slovakia in the last 16 on Sunday.

Konsa said “in football stuff like that happens”, when pressed further on the reaction of fans.

He added: “My brother was hit, a few others. I spoke to him after, I asked him and how he was and he said he was fine.

“It was to the right [of the stadium], it wasn’t directly behind the goal, but it was coming from all angles. We try not to think about it too much so we move on.”

Konsa has yet make an appearance in the tournament but the 26-year-old said he is ready to solve England’s left-back issue in Gelsenkirchen on Sunday if needed.

Newcastle defender Kieran Trippier has filled in at left-back while Manchester United defender Luke Shaw battles to return to full fitness.

“At Charlton I played there a couple of times – but then I played at left-back, right-back, centre-back, all across the back four,” Konsa said.

“I’m more than happy to do it. Obviously left-back is a bit different, but wherever the gaffer wants to put me I’ll try my best and give it my all.”

Konsa said being versatile to play different positions is “important” for players in modern football.

“With Manchester City, you see the centre-halves play left-back, right-back,” he explained.

“It’s something that is happening more and more often. For me it’s something I’ve done my whole career and I’m happy to do it.”

Original article published 27.06.2024 on the BBC Sport website.

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