PODGORICA, March 26
England’s stunning 5-1 rout of Montenegro in their Euro 2020 qualifier on Monday was soured by racist abuse directed at some of their players leading to calls for stadium bans. Defender Danny Rose was subjected to monkey chants and Raheem Sterling, scorer of England’s fifth goal, was also targeted, with racist abuse heard throughout the game.
Sterling called for Montenegro supporters to be banned from matches, while England manager Gareth Southgate said he would report the incidents to European soccer’s governing body UEFA. “I definitely heard abuse of Danny Rose when he got booked at the end of the game,” said Southgate.
“There’s no doubt in my mind that happened and we’ll report it to UEFA. It’s not acceptable,” he added.
Southgate said he had not had a chance to talk to Sterling, who gestured by cupping his hands to his ears towards a section of Montenegro fans when he scored late on. “I didn’t hear (racist chanting) personally but Danny (Rose) made it clear and (made me) aware that’s what they were doing so I just wanted to show them that they were going to need more than that to upset us and stop us,” Sterling said.
“It’s a shame to see this keep going on. We can only bring awareness to the situation. It’s now time for the people in charge to put a stamp on it. You can fine someone but what’s that going to do? You’ve got to make it a bit harder. You’ve got to punish the whole fans who can’t come to the games. You’ve got to do something that will really make them think twice because if their team can’t play with fans it’s going to be difficult for them,” he added. — Reuters