A plan to send players from the England team to pay their respects to those who died at the Battle of the Somme has reportedly been blocked by the FA.
England boss Roy Hodgson is said to have been keen to send a group to a service at the Thiepval Memorial to the Missing of the Somme (pictured above).
The possibility was discussed with FA chief executive Martin Glenn and provisionally approved by the FA, before being scuppered by Dave Reddin, the FA’s head of performance services, according to the Times.
As a result, James Milner and Joe Hart made video messages to pay their respects (see below).
Reddin is reported to have said the three-hour round trip from the squad’s base in Chantilly would be "too draining", a decision which has been backed by some respected sports scientists.
Instead, Martin Glenn will go to Thiepval today for a service to remember those killed.
The memorial bears the names of 37 footballers, including former Leeds and England player Lieutenant Evelyn Lintott, 15th (Service) Battalion, West Yorkshire Regiment - the first chairman of the Professional Footballers’ Association (PFA).
England stars did visit Nazi concentration camp Auschwitz, in Poland, ahead of Euro 2012, after the Netherlands squad were subjected to racist abuse as they trained. Now-captain Wayne Rooney said at the time:
"It's good to get that history of what happened. It puts football into perspective."
England play their first match of this summer's tournament against Russia in Marseille on Saturday.
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