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Gareth Southgate addresses Jordan Henderson transfer to Saudi Arabia from Liverpool

England boss Gareth Southgate says he understands the criticism Jordan Henderson has received for joining Saudi Arabian club Al Ettifaq but feels the midfielder's beliefs have not changed.

Henderson's move to the fast-growing Saudi Pro League came under scrutiny due to his long-time support for the LGBT+ community and the Premier League's Rainbow Laces campaign.

Homosexuality is illegal and punishable by death in Saudi Arabia, while the state stands accused of a host of other abuses including placing harsh restrictions on women's rights and the right to political protest.

Pride in Football, a network of LGBT+ fan groups, said the England midfielder had "lost the respect of so many people who valued and trusted" him but Southgate says it is not a black and white matter.

"It's not for me to judge any individual whether they're in football or in any other industry," Southgate told talkSPORT.

"I don't think he's changing his view on what he believes in. So now we're in a really complex world where, what are we saying, nobody should go to Newcastle? Should nobody work for companies that the Saudis own in London or should nobody buy oil from the Saudis?

"I think it's very complicated. I completely understand the argument of you've supported the LGBT+ community and I can understand why they would have a really strong view on it.

"I think it's so difficult. Is Henderson saying he doesn't support that community anymore? Well no, he isn't, but of course people are going to say his actions are the reverse of that."

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