England to report racist abuse of players in Montenegro

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There should be ‘real punishment’ for racist abuse – Sterling

Raheem Sterling and Callum Hudson-Odoi condemned the “unacceptable” racist abuse of England players during their 5-1 win over Montenegro in Podgorica.

Racist chanting was directed at several England players, including Danny Rose, during the Euro 2020 qualifier.

England manager Gareth Southgate said he “heard the abuse of Rose” and the incidents will be reported to Uefa.

However, Montenegro coach Ljubisa Tumbakovic said he did not “hear or notice any” racist abuse.

Southgate, speaking to BBC Radio 5 Live, added: “There’s no doubt in my mind it happened. I know what I heard. It’s unacceptable. We have to make sure our players feel supported, they know the dressing room is there and we as a group of staff are there for them.

“We have to report it through the correct channels. It is clear that so many people have heard it and we have to continue to make strides in our country and trust the authorities to take the right action.”

What happened?

After only six minutes, BBC Radio 5 Live commentator Ian Dennis said he heard racist chants when Tottenham left-back Rose was in possession. BBC football correspondent John Murray also said he heard the chanting throughout the game and spoke to pitch-side photographers who described the abuse the England players received as “disgusting”.

Sterling scored England’s fifth goal in the 81st minute and celebrated by putting his hands to his ears, a gesture he later said was a response to the racist abuse.

In injury time Rose was booked following a strong challenge on Aleksandar Boljevic, with more racist chants aimed at the 28-year-old.

It is not the first time Rose has faced this situation on international duty.

He was racially abused in Serbia in an under-21 game in 2012.Serbia’s FA was fined £65,000, with their under-21s having to play a game behind closed doors.

Sanctions are ‘worthless’ without education – Southgate on racism

Sterling calls for a ‘real punishment’

Sterling called on football’s authorities to take “a proper stance” and crack down on the racist abuse.

“A couple of idiots ruined a great night and it is a real sad thing to hear,” Sterling told BBC Radio 5 Live. “It’s a real sad situation we are talking about after a great win.

“I don’t think it was just one or two people that heard it, it was the whole bench. There should be a real punishment for this, not just the two or three people who were doing it – it needs to be a collective thing.

“This place holds 15,000. The punishment should be, whatever nation it is, if your fans are chanting racist abuse then it should be the whole stadium so no-one can come and watch.

“When the ban is lifted, the fans will think twice. They all love football, they all want to come and watch their nation so it will make them think twice before doing something silly like that.”

Raheem Sterling tweeted that his goal celebration was a direct response to racist chanting from the crowd

Describing his reaction to his goal, Sterling added: “It was one of those where it was to let them know, you are going to need to tell me more than that we are black and what we resemble to affect us.

“That was the message and give them something to talk about.

“We can only bring awareness and light to the situation. It’s time for the people in charge to put a real stamp on it.

“In England we have a diverse country and lots of different faces. I can only do so much; the FA can only do so much. The people in charge need to make a proper stance.”

Kick it Out, an anti-discrimination charity, said: