There is no precedent for a potentially first-choice player turning down a major tournament. Why is this happening now?

Here it comes, then. Generation Z: international football mode. No doubt there will be a temptation in some corners to interpret Ben White’s refusal of an England call-up, three months out from Euro 2024, through the prism of generational anxiety.

Vegan sausage rolls and moral relativism brought us to this. It starts with turning down an England cap. It ends with throwing soup at statues and refusing to storm a Russian machine gun nest on the grounds this might constitute a micro-aggression.

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