Thu, Oct 10, 2019 - Page 16 News List

England to walk off over racist abuse

Reuters, LONDON

England’s players are ready to walk off the pitch if they are subjected to racist abuse in Euro 2020 qualifiers against the Czech Republic and Bulgaria, striker Tammy Abraham said on Tuesday.

England face the Czech Republic away in Group A tomorrow before visiting Bulgaria on Monday next week for a match in a partially closed stadium due to the home supporters’ racist behavior in June.

“If it happens to one of us, it happens to all of us,” Abraham was quoted as saying by the BBC. “[England captain] Harry Kane even said that if we’re not happy, if a player is not happy, we all come off the pitch together.”

England manager Gareth Southgate on Monday called a team meeting to discuss what action the players would take if they were the target of repeated racist abuse.

European governing body UEFA’s three-step protocol for racism can lead to the referee abandoning a match if warnings to the crowd do not stop the fans from racially abusing the players.

“We are just there to play the game and whatever happens in the stands, we’ll just let the authorities deal with that,” Abraham’s Chelsea teammate and new squad member Fikayo Tomori was quoted as saying by Sky Sports.

England top the group with 12 points and would qualify for next year’s finals if they beat the second-placed Czech Republic.

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