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Football-mad Prince William chats to Arsenal about mental health ahead of sport's return

The FA Cup Final is set to be dedicated to the charity Heads Up

The Duke of Cambridge has shared a peek inside a never-before-seen room at his Anmer Hall home in a video call with the Arsenal team ahead of the return of the football season. Prince William, who is the President of the FA, spoke to Arsenal first-team players, Head Coach Mikel Arteta and Academy Manager, Per Mertesacker about the importance of prioritising mental health before the Premier League returns on 17 June.

During the chat, Prince William can be seen sat in front of a fireplace with a mahogany mantelpiece and shelving, where he has the FA Cup trophy on display. A painting hangs in a decorative gold frame above the fireplace, while there is also a wooden clock on the wall, which is painted in a moss green hue.

RELATED: Inside Anmer Hall, where Prince William and Kate are staying during the lockdown

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Prince William shared a peek in a new room at Anmer Hall as he chatted to Arsenal

The football fan is no doubt excited for the sport to resume after live fixtures were stopped during the coronavirus pandemic. Matches will begin behind closed doors on Wednesday, beginning with a fixture between his beloved Aston Villa and Sheffield United.

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Prince William revealed he was also happy to hear that this year's Emirates FA Cup Final will be renamed the 'Heads Up FA Cup Final', in honour of the mental health campaign he has been working on for the past few years. Speaking during the call, the group discussed the significance of the announcement, as well as the mental health implications of the coronavirus pandemic, the role football can play in tackling men’s mental health, and how Arsenal is supporting coaching staff and players, including those at the Academy level, as well as the wider football community.

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"We're going to really use the Final as a moment to promote good, positive mental health for everyone. It's quite timely bearing in mind what we’ve all been through with this pandemic," Prince William said during the call. "I think there’s going to be, sadly, a lot of repercussions from this in society, not just in football, in terms of people’s mental health. Hopefully the FA Cup can be a bit of a pivot that people can rally around."

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Mikel Arteta said of players' mental health during coronavirus: "You have to create a safe environment for them to be able to talk to you directly without feeling judged, or [worrying] whether that's going to have consequences for them, whether they're going to play or not, or my feelings towards them. This is what I’ve been trying to do over the last twelve weeks, by trying to talk individually so they can raise those feelings, their issues, and we can build the club culture that I want, which is based on respect."

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