Gareth Southgate will apparently not do halftime interviews during World Cup matches. The England boss, along with the Football Association, reportedly discussed the issue over the last few weeks. They ultimately came to the decision to disregard FIFA’s pleas.

FIFA previously granted broadcasters of the tournament in Qatar the ability to interview coaches during halftime. The world’s governing body of the sport wants to give fans more access during the upcoming World Cup. Coaches, however, are not forced to conduct the interviews, as they are not yet mandatory.

Sportsmail claims Southgate chose not to be available for halftime interviews because it could create a distraction during an important time. The coach also wants to utilize the full halftime break with his players.

Gareth Southgate unavailable for halftime interviews

Southgate will, however, be available for broadcasters before the match and directly after the full-time whistle. This would fulfill FIFA’s guidelines for coaches at the World Cup.

England enter the upcoming tournament as one of the favorites to bring home the trophy. Despite the immense talent in his team, the Three Lions have not won a match since March. This covers a six-game span that includes three losses and three draws.

While Southgate has declined the invitation, France head coach Didier Deschamps has reportedly agreed to halftime interviews. The former France international won the 1998 World Cup and the UEFA Euros in 2000 as a player. Deschamps also collected the 2018 World Cup trophy as head coach of France.

Halftime interviews are a bit of a new concept for major soccer competitions. Crystal Palace manager Patrick Vieira previously became the first Premier League coach to conduct a halftime interview earlier in the current campaign. The former Arsenal star spoke to Sky Sports during his team’s matchup with the Gunners in August.

The 2022 World Cup in Qatar is set to start on Sunday, Nov. 20.

PHOTO: IMAGO / UK Sports Pics Ltd.

Guide to World Cup 2022

Here are some resources to help you get the most out of the biggest event in soccer!
TV Schedule: All the info on where and when to watch every game
The Groups: We breakdown each group and all the teams
The Kits: Check out what every team will be wearing on the field this fall
Predictor: Play out every scenario with our World Cup Predictor
World Cup Bracket: Map out the entire tournament, from the groups to the final