England come up with smart way to mark 25th anniversary of Kick It Out anti-racism group

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The first 25 seconds of England’s friendly against Switzerland on Tuesday will be broadcast in black and white to honour the 25th anniversary of football’s anti-discrimination charity Kick It Out.

The picture on Sky Sports’ – the domestic British broadcaster – coverage of the game at Leicester’s King Power Stadium will switch to black and white as the teams take the pitch, and it will be first time England action has been broadcast without colour in nearly half a century.

The game, which kicks off at 20:00 in the UK, has been dedicated to Kick It Out by the football Association and England’s stars will show their support by warming up in branded t-shirts and entering the pitch alongside mascots chosen by the charity.

In a statement, the FA’s inclusion advisory board chairman Paul Elliott said: “Kick It Out have been a catalyst for the change in English football both on and off the pitch and we’re delighted to celebrate their inspirational work in promoting football for all.

“Hopefully the footage will encourage the millions of viewers at home to spend at least 25 seconds thinking about the importance of diversity in this beautiful game of ours.”

Kick It Out chair Lord Herman Ouseley said the charity, which was founded in 1993, was delighted with the gesture and hoped it would be a “powerful reminder of how far football has come in the last 25 years to make the a game a more open and diverse place”.

England go into the match trying to avoid a fourth-straight defeat, having lost their last two games at the World Cup this summer and their Nations League opener against Spain at Wembley on Saturday.

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Wales on the right path under Ryan Giggs, says James Chester

Phil Blanche 10/09/2018
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James Chester feels the future is positive for Wales.

James Chester insists Wales are on the right path under Ryan Giggs despite their Denmark setback.

Christian Eriksen‘s brace condemned Wales to a 2-0 UEFA Nations League defeat in Aarhus after the euphoria of a scintillating display against the Republic of Ireland three days earlier.

Wales’ youngsters discovered the harsh realities of international football as Eriksen and company administered the first competitive defeat of Giggs’ reign.

“We’ve got a new manager trying to implement his ideas on a young squad and it’s going to take a little time to get it spot on,” Chester said.

“But you could see on Thursday (against the Republic) that we’re heading in the right direction.

“It’s slightly different to the way we played before under Chris Coleman.

“We’re pressing when the opponents are in possession and when we do lose the ball we look to win it back as quickly as possible.

“It’s really effective when we get it right and you saw that when Denmark had to put it out of play a couple of times. But get it wrong and it can be difficult for you as well.”

Giggs has freshened up the Wales squad since being appointed in January.

Chris Mepham, Connor Roberts and David Brooks have all been given opportunities in the last two games, but Chelsea teenager Ethan Ampadu is the player who has got Welsh football really excited.

Ethan Ampadu (c) is exciting Welsh fans.

Ethan Ampadu (c) is exciting Welsh fans.

The 17-year-old delivered a man-of-the-match performance against the Republic and looked composed once more in Denmark, even if he gave away a penalty when he was harshly adjudged to have handled in the area.

“When I was his age I was sat in digs,” Chester said.

“To be playing central midfield at international level at his age is some feat, and if he carries on like he’s going then he’s going to have a top career.

“He’s probably the best 17-year-old I’ve seen and, when you see some of the lads coming through, it’s an exciting time for Welsh football.

“It’s good for the older lads to have competition and the standard in training is high.

“The youngsters want to learn, and that’s beneficial for everyone.”

Aston Villa captain Chester returned at the heart of the Wales defence against Denmark after veteran skipper Ashley Williams was rested.

“The manager spoke to me on Tuesday about his reasons why I wasn’t playing in the first game and I was more than happy with those,” he said.

“But it was nice to play here. International football is a big commitment with the amount of games I have at my club.

“To come away and not play at all would have been disappointing.

“I want to finish my career with as many caps as possible and hopefully I play more than I don’t.”

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Tottenham midfielder Dele Alli withdraws from England squad with 'minor muscle strain'

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Midfielder Dele Alli has battled back from a thigh injury.

Dele Alli has withdrawn from England’s squad for the friendly against Switzerland on Tuesday with a “minor muscle strain”.

The Tottenham midfielder, who picked up the problem in Saturday’s 2-1 Nations League defeat to Spain, will be treated by his club rather than joining the Three Lions at Leicester’s King Power Stadium.

Manager Gareth Southgate had already bolstered his squad with Foxes pair Ben Chilwell and Demarai Gray, both of whom could make their debuts at the home ground, and has not called up a replacement for Alli.

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