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knighthoodfor Gareth Southgate will be considered in coming days, a minister suggested on Monday.

Health minister Edward Argar said Whitehall chiefs would be examining the “many ways in which we can say thank you” to the England manager and team for how they had brought the nation together after so many grim months in the Covid-19 pandemic.

He hailed the team’s “fantastic performance” and told of the country’s “pride”.

Asked on LBC whether England manager Southgate should have some form of recognition, possibly a knighthood, for the achievement by the England team, Mr Argar said: “I like everyone else was disappointed by the result last night and congratulations to Italy.

“But what I was not disappointed by was the fantastic performance of our national football team.

“A young team who have done so much and achieved so much to bring our nation together, to give us something to be positive about.”

He added: “I was really sorry to see some of the disgusting online racist abuse that has been meted out to them, totally unacceptable, no place for that in our country or in our sport.

“But I like the rest of the nation share in the pride at our amazing football team and I’m sure that there will be many ways in which we can say thank you to them and recognise that and I suspect that will be looked at in the coming days.”

Honours, including knighthoods and MBEs, are traditionally decided and announced by the Cabinet Office twice a year, at New Year and on The Queen’s official birthday in June.

They are then presented to recipients by members of the Royal Family throughout the year at ceremonies known as ‘Investitures’.

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