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England’s Three Lions anthem ‘faces being replaced at the World Cup by Sweet Caroline’

The FA is set to drop the iconic ‘Three Lions’ anthem as England football team’s official World Cup song amid fears it could be seen as arrogant by other countries.

FA chiefs are said to be reviewing other options which would see choruses of Baddiel and Skinner’s ‘Football’s Coming Home’ reminiscent of Euro ’96 abandoned for a ‘less offensive’ alternative.

Neil Diamond’s beloved ‘Sweet Caroline’ is currently tipped to replace the classic anthem, but critics have hit out at the FA for the ‘woke’ decision.

England legend Paul Gascoigne, who was instrumental in the Three Lions’ march to the semi-finals at Euro ’96, railed against the ‘nonsense’ idea.

‘The FA have totally lost the plot… You can’t take that song off us, it would be like saying we can’t wave St George’s flags anymore,’ the 54-year-old told The Sun.

‘This woke nonsense has no place in football. It’s just a great song.’

The FA is set to drop the iconic ‘Three Lions’ anthem as England football team’s official World Cup song amid fears it could be seen as arrogant by other countries (the song’s writers David Baddiel and Frank Skinner are pictured in 1998)

England legend Paul Gascoigne was instrumental in the Three Lions' march to the semi-finals at Euro '96 (pictured celebrating goal against Spain during the tournament

'The FA have totally lost the plot... You can't take that song off us, it would be like saying we can't wave St George's flags anymore,' the 54-year-old (pictured in March) told The Sun

England legend Paul Gascoigne (pictured left in 1996 and right in March), who was instrumental in the Three Lions’ march to the semi-finals at Euro ’96, railed against the ‘nonsense’ idea. ‘The FA have totally lost the plot… You can’t take that song off us, it would be like saying we can’t wave St George’s flags anymore,’ the 54-year-old told The Sun.

FA chiefs are said to be reviewing other options which would see choruses of Baddiel and Skinner's 'Football's Coming Home' reminiscent of Euro '96 abandoned for a 'less offensive' alternative

FA chiefs are said to be reviewing other options which would see choruses of Baddiel and Skinner’s ‘Football’s Coming Home’ reminiscent of Euro ’96 abandoned for a ‘less offensive’ alternative

The 1996 anthem enjoyed a roaring comeback during the 2018 World Cup, in which England got to the semi-finals, and became the first song in UK history to have four spells at No 1 during the tournament

The 1996 anthem enjoyed a roaring comeback during the 2018 World Cup, in which England got to the semi-finals, and became the first song in UK history to have four spells at No 1 during the tournament

TalkTV presenter Piers Morgan echoed Gazza’s sentiment last night and questioned how the song could be seen as offensive given its self-depricating nature.

‘This song is all about wallowing in 30 years of pain and hurt and not winning anything – how can anyone say it’s arrogant?’ 

The FA’s decision is sure to spark more controversy after UEFA stopped comedians Frank Skinner and David Baddiel from singing their hit song before the Euro 2020 final last summer because it was seen as too ‘partisan’.

Officials share concerns that the song’s repetitive chant ‘It’s Coming Home’ suggests that England owns football and comes off as arrogant or snobbish to other countries.

Three Lions was originally written as the England’s anthem for UEFA Euro 1996, and Skinner and Baddiel co-wrote and performed the song alongside The Lightning Seeds. 

The anthem enjoyed a roaring comeback during the 2018 World Cup, in which England got to the semi-finals, and became the first song in UK history to have four spells at No 1 during the tournament.

The song remains a key part of fans’ celebrations and efforts to support England players but now faces being dropped. 

While appearing on the TV show The Last Leg ahead of the Euro 2020 final between England and Italy last summer, Skinner shared his frustrations with UEFA’s decision.

He reminded viewers that Andrea Bocelli sang Nessun Dormua at the opening ceremony – which saw Italy kick-off the tournament against Turkey. 

Baddiel meanwhile told Sportsmail about the track and explained how the message it carries is the opposite of arrogant.

‘The lyrics say it – we almost never win. Generally we disappoint and yet we somehow think, against all experience, that we might do something. 

Officials share concerns that the song's repetitive chant 'It's Coming Home' suggests that England owns football and comes off as arrogant or snobbish to other countries (England football team pictured March 29, 2022)

Officials share concerns that the song’s repetitive chant ‘It’s Coming Home’ suggests that England owns football and comes off as arrogant or snobbish to other countries (England football team pictured March 29, 2022)

UEFA stopped Frank Skinner and David Baddiel singing Three Lions at Wembley ahead of the Euro 2020 final between England and Italy because the song was 'too partisan'

UEFA stopped Frank Skinner and David Baddiel singing Three Lions at Wembley ahead of the Euro 2020 final between England and Italy because the song was ‘too partisan’ 

The comedians were the masterminds behind the Three Lions football anthem - which was penned 26 years ago and is chanted by England fans at every tournament

The comedians were the masterminds behind the Three Lions football anthem – which was penned 26 years ago and is chanted by England fans at every tournament

‘Little moments — like David Platt scoring in extra time against Belgium in Italia 90 — can break through that despair, and lead you to hope. The song takes you on that journey which is a real one for England fans.’ 

Baddiel continued: ‘I think the song is the opposite of arrogant. It’s a vulnerable song about magical thinking.

‘What does happen is that when England are doing well, Football’s Coming Home itself becomes a kind of mantra pushing us towards victory.

‘The most intense I ever heard it chanted was when Shearer scored early on against Germany in the semi-final. The crowd were saying it like a magic spell, like if we sing it fast enough and powerfully enough it will happen.

‘It’s never meant to mean ‘we own football’. It means coming home in the sense of something you hope will finally happen after a long journey.’  

 



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