Andorra v England: First game with female officials 'very important moment', says Gareth Southgate

England is now third in the Fifa World Rankings, thanks to Gareth Southgate
Manager Gareth Southgate says that Saturday's qualifier for the World Cup in England in Andorra will be an "important moment for gender equality".

Kateryna Monzul (40), refereed the first ever senior England men's international.

Assistant referees will be Maryna Striletska, a fellow Ukrainian, and Svitlana Goshko.

Southgate stated, "It is almost irrelevant. The quality of the official, not the gender, is important."

He reiterated his belief in the importance of getting vaccinated to avoid the coronavirus pandemic.

Tammy Abraham stated earlier this week that the vaccine was in effect. However, Fikayo Tomori, a former Chelsea teammate, chose to not reveal his status, claiming it was a personal issue.

Southgate was a strong supporter of the Government’s vaccination program. He participated in a promotional video and said he is yet to hear from anyone offering an alternative.

He said, "Everybody knows my position on the subject." To get rid of the pandemic, the only way to move forward was through a vaccination program. This was crucial.

"There are many individual circumstances that could lead to this. It's understandable that people might be anxious. If you're in the 50+ group, there's less to think about and it's much easier to make a decision.

"I believe that it is right to do the right thing, but I also understand that there are other topics on which everyone would agree and we all would have a clear vision as a team.

This is where things get a bit more complicated. Many people have been affected by the virus, so it is possible that they feel high antibodies. Individual medical conditions and religious reasons might also be factors.

"We want to go further than the Euros"

England beat Hungary 4-0 in Budapest, Andorra by the exact same margin at Wembley, September. England then drew 1-1 against Poland to remain unbeaten, and is now top of their World Cup qualifying category, four points ahead Albania.

After the Andorra trip, England hosts Hungary on Tuesday. Back-to-back wins could help the Euro 2020 beaten finalists secure a spot at next year’s World Cup in Qatar. It will take place from 21 November through 18 December.

Southgate said, "What I liked about last month was that there wasn't complacency in their attitude towards the players."

"There was a desire to improve, make sure that the next steps are correct ones, to maintain the standards every day and to be qualified first.

"That's the task for the next six days to earn six points. We are close to each other, we rank well in the world, and our results have been consistent over time. However, we know that we want more than this summer.