Euro 2016: Wales forced to defend leaked video of celebrations as England crash out of tournament

 
Ross McLean
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Wales v Northern Ireland - Round of 16: UEFA Euro 2016
Wales face Belgium on Friday for a place in the semi-finals (Source: Getty)

Full-back Chris Gunter insists the Wales camp harbour no regrets over footage which captured members of their squad exuberantly celebrating as England were dumped out of Euro 2016.

A video of Wales players and staff cheering and hugging after England slumped to a 2-1 defeat against European minnows Iceland in Nice on Monday was leaked on social media.

Gunter dismissed suggestions their actions were disrespectful, instead claiming that Wales assuming the status of the final home nation left in the competition was the overriding source of their merriment.

“I think it may be easy to see it as being slightly over the top,” said Gunter. “But it certainly wasn’t meant to come across that way.

“If you asked the squad as a whole, from a selfish point of view, we are ever so proud to be the last home nation team in the tournament.

“We’ve come such a long way and football has a funny way of bringing out emotions, as you’ve seen when we played them [England] a couple of weeks ago.

“No-one has talked about Iceland, another team who were written off before a ball was kicked and now they’ve reached the quarter-finals. It’s fantastic for the tournament that Iceland are still in there.”

Wales face Belgium on Friday for a place in the semi-finals, and fellow defender Neil Taylor echoed Gunter’s sentiments, asserting the scenes of jubilation were simply down to marking the success of a side not expected to thrive at the tournament.

“We follow the underdogs in this tournament, whoever they are,” he said. “Iceland were written off really early but they’ve been unbelievable. Our celebrations were because of how well they’ve done.”