Phil Neville will not impose a social media ban on his England team during the World Cup, adding that doing so would only “stifle” the visibility of the women’s game.
The head coach of the Lionesses has said he will allow his players to “police themselves” online during the campaign, which they kick off against Scotland in Nice on June 9.
There has been an increasing tendency for male footballers to abstain from social media during major tournaments. Harry Kane quit Twitter and stopped checking news apps during the World Cup last year after revealing that comments had affected him at Euro 2016.
But ahead of his side’s penultimate warm-up fixture for the World Cup against Denmark at Walsall’s Bescot Stadium on Saturday, Neville said limiting his players on social platforms would only hinder the growth of the female game.
He said: “I don’t think we’re at that stage yet in women’s football where we can take our girls off social media. I think everything has to be positive. We have to get our visibility out there. It’s part of their personalities and we don’t want to stifle their personalities of a player if being on social media is part of their character.
“My players are fantastic at it. Far better than what I was, or some of the players who I played with were.
“They post things creatively and they enjoy it. Why stifle someone’s personality and character? They police themselves and if they post anything that doesn’t fit within the values, then they will be told.”
As with their last pre-World Cup friendly against Canada at Manchester City’s Academy Stadium last month, Saturday’s fixture is also expected to be a sell-out, with 11,300 fans set to descend on Walsall’s ground.
Neville confirmed Lyon right-back Lucy Bronze and Barcelona forward Toni Duggan would not feature after the pair locked horns in last Saturday’s Champions League final.
“I’ve got to make sure I protect those two in the next two friendlies because of the emotion of the Champions League. One’s happy, one’s sad,” said Neville, who revealed Bronze would continue occupying an interchangeable role at midfield and at right-back during England’s campaign.