The players of England are planning to leave the field immediately if racist slogans can be heard during the upcoming European Championship qualifiers. The team of coach Gareth Southgate has decided this week in mutual consultation.
The players of England were more often the victims of racism this year. During the European Championship qualifying match with Montenegro in March, monkey sounds were heard when Danny Rose and Raheem Sterling had the ball. UEFA punished the country with a fine and a home duel without an audience, but that slight sanction put the European Football Association on a lot of criticism.
England will visit Bulgaria on Monday in the European Championship qualifying series, whose fans still misbehaved this year by expressing themselves racially in the duels with the Czech Republic and Kosovo. The players of 'The Three Lions' have therefore consulted with each other about what they should do if one of them is treated racist again.
"If one of us becomes a victim of racism, we all feel it," stressed Tammy Abraham in a conversation with English media. "Harry Kane (captain, ed.) Even said that if a player doesn't feel good about it, we all have to leave the field. That's what we're going to do."
UEFA always observes the so-called three-step protocol for racism in stadiums. The captain must report racism to the referee, who must then temporarily stop the competition. After that the stadium announcer calls on the perpetrators to stop and only if that also does not help, the duel is definitively stopped.
Raheem Sterling was racist this year in Montenegro. (Photo: Pro Shots)
"We are one big family"
According to 22-year-old Abraham, the protocol is clearly discussed within the group and is respected. "We're going to follow the steps. But if the warnings don't help and it keeps going, we will eventually decide as a team to leave the field or not."
Liverpool defender Trent Alexander-Arnold also believes that his team should follow the UEFA protocol, but can also imagine that a situation may arise in which the players and staff decide to stop on their own.
"If it gets extreme, we should consider taking a different approach. It doesn't matter if one player is racist or the whole team, because we are one big family. Everyone should get the chance to be in a safe and normal environment. "
For Monday's game against Bulgaria, England will visit the Czech Republic, the number two in Group A, on Friday in the European Championship qualification. The Southgate team has three points more and moreover played a match less than the Czechs. The numbers one and two in the group qualify directly for next year's European Championship.
View the program and the positions in the European Championship qualification