Tammy Abraham says England are prepared to walk off the pitch if they are targeted by racist abuse in their Euro 2020 qualifiers this week.
England faces the Czech Republic on Friday, October 11. Thereafter, they play Bulgaria on Monday in a partially-closed stadium because of fans’ racist behaviour in June.
Uefa ordered the partial closure of Bulgaria’s national stadium following racist behaviour by their fans in Euro 2020 qualifying games. The games were against the Czech Republic and Kosovo in June.
In August, Bulgarian club sides PFC Levski Sofia and PFC Lokomotiv Plovdiv were punished by Uefa for racism. The incidents occurred during Europa League games.
England manager Gareth Southgate said last month that he would talk to the players before next week’s game. However, Abraham says the players have decided they will take matters into their own hands if necessary.
Uefa’s three-step protocol for racial abuse ends with the officials abandoning a match if announcements inside a stadium do not stop the problem.
“We did speak about that [the protocol],” Abraham said.
“Harry Kane did ask the question about instead of going through the three steps.
“If we decide that we want to stop the game – no matter what the score is – if we’re not happy with it, as a team we’ll decide whether or not to stay on the pitch.
“If it happens and let’s say there’s a warning or whatever in the stadium, then it happens again, we have to make a decision as a team and with the staff.”
Aston Villa defender Tyrone Mings says that it is “disappointing” to have to deal with racism in football in 2019.
Villa’s 5-1 win at Norwich last Saturday was followed by a statement from the club.
It revealed they are “disgusted and appalled” by footage of supporters singing a racist song which references two first-team players.
“It highlights the fact that our own country isn’t perfect,” Mings revealed.
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