THE RACIAL abuse suffered by England’s black footballers has been widely condemned by all quarters.
England’s Euro 2020 qualifier was halted twice as fans were warned about racist behaviour including Nazi salutes and monkey chanting. The first interval came in the 28th minute with England leading 2-0.
A stadium announcement then condemned the abuse before stating the match would be abandoned if it continued.
However, the game was stopped again in the 43rd minute before restarting after discussions between the referee and England manager Gareth Southgate.
Football’s antiracism campaign – Kick It Out – have said they are ‘sickened’ by the incidents.
They said in a statement: “We are sickened by the disgusting racist abuse directed at England men’s team tonight by Bulgaria supporters – including TV footage which appeared to show Nazi salutes and monkey noises.
“We applaud Gareth Southgate, his staff and players for the actions taken in reporting the abhorrent abuse, and offer our full support to the entire squad, their families and anyone affected by those appalling scenes.
“We are encouraged that the protocol was initially enforced by the match officials, but UEFA must explain why players weren’t sent to the dressing room during Step Two, as is clearly stated in the rules. TV footage also clearly shows that racist abuse continued in the second half, so it is unacceptable that Step Three was not enforced. This match should have been abandoned by the officials.
“It’s now time for UEFA to step up and show some leadership. For far too long, they have consistently failed to take effective action. The fact Bulgaria are already hosting this game with a partial stadium closure for racist abuse shows that UEFA’s sanctions are not fit for purpose.
“There can be no more pitiful fines or short stadium bans. If UEFA care at all about tackling discrimination – and if the Equal Game campaign means anything – then points deductions and tournament expulsion must follow.”