Reason England players have no names on shirts vs Belgium explained | Football | Sport

With England facing Belgium on Tuesday at Wembley, the FA have decided that the Three Lions will play the second half of the game without names on the back of their shirts. The move comes as part of a tribute to one of the FA’s charitable partners, Alzheimer’s Society, which sees an England friendly match named the ‘Alzheimer’s Society International’ to help raise awareness and funds to tackle dementia.

The plan is for these unique shirts to then be donated by the England squad and auctioned to raise funds in support of research conducted by the Alzheimer’s Society, with the majority of those funds going towards specific research into early diagnosis of the disease.

The nameless shirts made their first appearance at the inaugural Alzheimer’s Society International in 2022, in a game between England and Switzerland which also took place at Wembley Stadium.

The shirts are being reintroduced against Belgium as a recurring, recognisable way to drive home the message that football should be unforgettable. It is also a way for the England men’s team to try and raise awareness and do something about the disease, which has become the leading cause of death in the country over the past two years.

This is the second time in the past week that England shirts have made major news across the nation. The Three Lions’ controversial St. George’s flag, located on the back of the shirt’s collar, has been the subject of significant scrutiny among fans and politicians alike. Prime Minister Rishi Sunak warned against messing with England’s national flag, while opposition leader Keir Starmer urged kit makers Nike to “reconsider” the divisive decision.

The new flag, which features red, purple and blue stripes, has been described by Nike as a “playful update” to the original red colours. In a statement, the sports brand said: “Together with the FA, the intention was to celebrate the heroes of 1966 and their achievements. The trim on the cuffs takes its cues from the training gear worn by England’s 1966 heroes, with a gradient of blues and reds topped with purple. The same colours also feature an interpretation of the flag on the back of the collar.”

The FA stated they had no intention of recalling the controversial kit despite national outrage, saying it was not the first time different colours had been used on England’s match shirts. They did, however, add that they understood what the flag means to England fans and ensured that it would be visible during England’s game against Brazil.

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