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John Barnes: Criticism of Montenegro is ‘hypocritical’

CRITICAL: John Barnes says England needs to address racism affecting players and ordinary people at home first

JOHN BARNES has said that the criticism of Montenegro’s fans who racially abused England’s Danny Rose on Monday is ‘hypocritical’.

During England 5-1 win against Montenegro, Rose was targeted by racist fans who subjected him to monkey chants.

“I think it’s quite hypocritical that we look at Montenegro and say how terrible it is when we haven’t even taken care of the problem here,” Barnes told Sky News.

He added: “How often do we go to Montenegro? Whereby every single week we face it here in droves so what is more serious? Going to Montenegro once a year or black players and black people facing this every single day of their lives?”

The former England player said he did not think that people were looking at the right solutions and highlighted that while fans who make money chants at black players and their teams could face punishments as a result, those who heavily boo black footballers each time they get the ball would not face any consequences because booing is allowed.

Barnes suggested that instead of imposing new regulations, a focus should be given to educating racists.

"Instead of passing laws why don't we try and educate people why they feel the need to be racially abusing people and then we can actually deconstruct the whole idea of why they feel that way rather than just banning and passing laws.

"So laws, yes, I understand the reason why people feel we have to do this, but how many years have we been doing this and nothing has changed. If it has not worked, let's try a different approach,” Sky News reported he said.

UEFA has started disciplinary proceedings against Montenegro in response to the behaviour at Monday’s match.

As well as Rose, 18-year-old Callum Hudson-Odoi also reported the racist chants.

Speaking after the match, Hudson-Odoi said that the abuse was “unacceptable”.

Following the game, Raheem Sterling, who scored England’s fifth goal in the Euro 2020 qualifying match, shared a picture of himself celebrating scoring and the caption: “Best way to silence the haters (and yeah I mean racists) ???????? #2019 #getsomeeducation.”

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