Gareth Southgate defends Coca-Cola after Cristiano Ronaldo's sponsor protest

Gareth Southgate has defended Coca-Cola after Cristiano Ronaldo’s protest against the Euro 2020 sponsor.

Earlier this week, Ronaldo made a point of removing two bottles of Coca-Cola which were placed in front of him during a press conference and urged those in attendance to ‘drink water’ instead.

Italy midfielder Manuel Locatelli joined Ronaldo in removing the Coca-Cola bottles from his post-match press conference after Italy’s 3-0 win over Switzerland on Wednesday evening.

Meanwhile, Manchester United and France midfielder Paul Pogba, who is a devout Muslim, removed a bottle of Heineken beer from his table during a press conference.

But Southgate has defended the use of sponsors and product placement in order to football at grassroots level.

When asked about having the bottles in front of them during the press conference, Southgate replied: ‘I think there are lots of sponsors in sport and the impact of their money at all levels helps sport to function, particularly grassroots sport in our country requires a lot of investment and without some of those companies investing, it is very difficult to provide the facilities we need.

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‘With anything, of course, we are mindful in our country of obesity and health but everything can be done in moderation.

‘Anything you take part in or partake in moderation is rarely a problem. I understand the concerns that people have and two guys had different rationale for the stances they took but there’s always a bigger picture to these things.’

When asked for his opinion Kane said: ‘I totally agree.

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‘The sponsors are entitled to have what they want if they have paid the money to do so.

‘It is not something personally I’ve thought too much about.

‘Obviously I’ve seen it go around on social media but if I’m totally honest I’m more focused on tomorrow than anything like that.’

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