Ben White bid farewell to the 2022 World Cup even though he hasn’t played for a minute – Photo: REUTERS
On the morning of December 1, the English Football Association (FA) announced that midfielder White had withdrawn from the England squad for the 2022 World Cup, and would not return to play this year’s World Cup.
The FA only briefly stated that White left the team for “personal reasons”, and asked to respect the player’s privacy.
This year, 25 years old, White is in quite stable form since moving to Arsenal for £ 50 million.
This season, White continues to be a regular member of the main team of an Arsenal that is leading the English Premier League (Premier League). He has shown versatility when he can play at right-back, despite his forte being a central defender.
The milestone in White’s career was being called up by coach Southgate to kick the 2022 World Cup, although the player has not played a minute after the team’s 3 matches in the group stage.
The FA’s statement about White’s departure from the team nonetheless shocked the fans. It is very rare for a player to drop out of a major tournament like the World Cup midway through without injury. White’s “personal reasons” thus became the subject of discussion and conspiracy theories.
An account named Keenan Finch wrote on Twitter: “Exclusive: I can confirm Ben White left the England concentration camp after a heated argument with coach Gareth Southgate. This happened after the England coach told Some players said that they ‘have little or no chance to play, and they are only present in sufficient numbers’.
This hypothesis is very unconvincing considering some of the related claims. The Arsenal team released the message “We are all with you, Ben”, with a heart symbol.
This message made many people think about an unfortunate situation for White or the player’s family, instead of assuming that he left after an argument.
Some other opinions focused on the conspiracy theory that White was allowed to leave the team because of psychological problems, mental health.
More seriously, some Twitter accounts shared a conspiracy theory that White left the World Cup because he was gay.
The speculation that went too far has backfired on social networks. Many other Twitter users criticized the conspiracy theories, and reiterated White’s request to respect his privacy.
“It’s currently assumed that Ben White came home because he’s gay… people should stop speculating. If he’s gay, he shouldn’t be pressured or anything. Speculate about why he’s gay. leaving Qatar is none of your business. I hope he is fine, hope his family is okay,” Tobias, one of the Twitter users calling for civility with White, wrote on his personal page today. 1-12.