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Wales squad defend England-Iceland video celebration

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Euro 2016: Wales defend England celebrations

Wales defender Chris Gunter has defended the squad after a video showed players enthusiastically celebrating Iceland’s Euro 2016 win over England.

England’s second-round exit means Wales, who face Belgium in the quarter-finals on Friday, are the last remaining home nation.

The 26-year-old Reading right-back says the Wales players have no regrets about their conduct in the video.

“It certainly wasn’t a video to show any lack of respect,” he said.

“I think it’s fantastic for the tournament that another smaller nation have progressed through; another team that were probably written off before a ball was kicked.

“But it certainly wasn’t meant [as] a lack of respect. There’s a lot of people in the squad who know players from the England side.

“It certainly wasn’t meant in that way and I think the main feeling after the final whistle – and probably in a selfish way from the squad – was generally a real pride that we’re the last team from the home nations to be in the tournament.”

There was a Welsh element to Iceland’s victory over England, as the Nordic side were captained by Cardiff City midfielder Aron Gunnarsson and their attacking play built around the creativity of Swansea City’s Gylfi Sigurdsson.

His Swans team-mate Neil Taylor says Welsh celebrations in the video were inspired by their joy for their fellow European Championship debutants.

“As a squad we follow the underdogs in this tournament, from Albania to Hungary, as a breath of fresh air,” said the Wales left-back.

“Iceland were written off as well. I know Gylfi, he has explained to me about Iceland, what they are all about. We saw that when they qualified and in this tournament they have been unbelievable.

“That was half of the celebrations, because of how well Iceland have done [but] I understand how it has come across. As a group of players we’ve supported Iceland all along.”

Neil Taylor discusses missing a concert and Chris Gunter potentially missing his brother’s wedding because of Wales’ Euro 2016 run.

Missing Beyonce

Gunter has previously explained Wales’ progress to the last eight at Euro 2016 means he will miss his brother Marc’s wedding in Mexico.

Should Wales reach the semi-finals, his parents would not be there for the wedding either.

For fellow full-back Taylor, Wales’ success in France means a different kind of sacrifice.

“We always expected to go as far as we can and, it’s not as bad as Gunts, but I had Beyonce tickets this week and Lionel Richie was in Swansea a few weeks ago,” he added.

“I got them for my wife for her birthday and I didn’t even see the date [of the concert] at the time. I thought I had her birthday covered!

“Obviously we’re delighted to be here. We don’t care. We’re in the quarter-finals. Wales is at a little bit of a standstill waiting for the game to come around.”

Source: BBC Football Read Original Article: Wales squad defend England-Iceland video celebration

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