UEFA charge Montenegro with racist behaviour towards England players in Euro 2020 qualifier

UEFA have begun disciplinary proceedings against Montenegro on charges of racist behaviour after Danny Rose and other England players were subjected to abuse at Monday’s Euro 2020 qualifying match.

Gareth Southgate confirmed that England would be reporting the incident, “as we should”.

18-year-old Callum Hudson-Odoi who was making his full England debut said he’d spoken with teammates Danny Rose and Raheem Sterling, who told him “you’re always going to get stuff like that”.

The abuse overshadowed England’s 5-1 victory over Montenegro in Podgorica.

Raheem Sterling, whose gesture towards his ears has become the standout image from the night, made a composed response to the abuse.

He told reporters: “You’ve got to speak about it. It’s 2019 now and it’s getting a bit silly […]Β  We were winning, and just let them know that that’s not going to affect us.”

UEFA regulations state that if fans engage in racist behaviour then “the member association or club responsible is punished with a minimum of a partial stadium closure”.

Following this, additional disciplinary measures can be applied.

It was after a booking in the 93rd minute that Rose received an onslaught of abuse from the home fans. The Doncaster-born player, Southgate and Hudson-Odoi all said they heard racist chants.

However, Montenegro’s head coach Ljubisa Tumbakovic insisted he didn’t hear any racist chanting directed towards England players.

Football Against Racism in Europe (Fare) classified the match as “high-risk”, and therefore had an observer present.

In a statement they said:

β€œWe commend the reaction of the England players involved, no human being should have to face abuse and vilification for their race or identity, something that many Montenegrins will understand from the divisive and bloody recent history of the Balkans.

β€œThe challenge of tackling racism and other forms of discrimination in European football however remains an ongoing issue. The societal change and education that is the ultimate solution is slow to take place. Even in the countries of Western Europe where there has been investment and focus on these issues discrimination remains a stain on football.”

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