THERE is no doubt in my mind that England should go to the World Cup in Russia this summer.

England stepped up their preparations for the World Cup with last night’s friendly against Holland and will continue to do so against Italy on Tuesday, amid much debate as to whether they should take part in the wake of recent events in Salisbury.

FA president Prince William has already confirmed he will not be attending, as well as various parliamentary officials.

Having managed the parliamentary football team for many years I know how much some of them would have been looking forward to going.

Many supporters have also decided not to go and now people are debating whether the England team should be there.

Personally, having been to Moscow with England as number two to Graham Taylor, I am sure the Russians will put on a good show.

And I think football on this occasion should be divorced from politics.

We have a problem but other countries in the World Cup will not take that as a reason for not turning up.

If anything, it will be a great opportunity to wave the flag for our country.

There will still be lots of England supporters there who have been saving up and making their travel plans and looking forward to the highlight of their football life.

It’s the biggest challenge Gareth Southgate will ever have and let’s face it it’s not the easiest job at the best of times with the number of English players in the top flight at an all-time low.

The abject recent performances from the England rugby and cricket teams is another argument for the football team going to Russia.

I’m not a massive fan of cricket or rugby but when any national team plays we all want to wave the flag.

The cricket team’s capitulation for 58 against New Zealand included a record number of five players not getting a run between them.

The rugby team is also on a bad run so we really need the football team to be there to provide some national pride.