Advertisement

  1. ITV Report

Montenegro charged over 'racist behaviour' at England Euro 2020 qualifier match

  • Video report by ITV News Sports Editor Steve Scott

UEFA has taken action against Montenegro after England's five-star performance was marred by racist chanting during a European Qualifer match.

England player Danny Rose was subjected to monkey chants at the end of an impressive 5-1 win in in Podgorica on Monday night.

The Prime Minister has called the abuse suffered by England players "disgusting and completely unacceptable."

Theresa May's official spokesman said as he called for Uefa to take "strong and swift action".

UEFA confirmed on Tuesday that disciplinary proceedings had begun following the group A match.

Rose said the racial and physical abuse players face is "pretty scary".

He told ITV News last week: "You know we're thinking we're just going on the pitch for 90 minutes, just to play football and having to think that you may be racially abused or physically attacked is pretty scary."

He called on those who could enforce punishments to do it "quickly" and make it as "safe as possible for the players".

Montenegro are charged with setting off fireworks, throwing objects, racist behaviour, crowd disturbances and blocking stairways.

A spokesman for UEFA said: "The case will be dealt with by the UEFA Control, Ethics and Disciplinary on May 16."

Raheem Sterling has called for Montenegro to be hit with a stadium ban after England players were subjected to racist abuse on Monday night.

Star player Raheem Sterling celebrated the final goal of the night by pulling out his ears in front of the home fans - a gesture he later said was a response to the racist abuse.

Gareth Southgate underlined the need for education when tackling the kind of racism endured by England's players.

He did not want to be drawn into sanctions, instead pointing to education when he was told that Montenegro boss Ljubisa Tumbakovic claimed not to have heard anything.

Football Against Racism in Europe (Fare) has since designated the Montenegro vs. England match as having a "high risk" of racism taking place.

A spokesperson for the Fare Network, who had an oberver present at the match, said: "Our monitoring team have been compiling the evidence we have before presenting it to UEFA.

“We 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.

“We hope that UEFA will act decisively, the sanctions that could be applied for an offence of this kind range from a partial stadium closure to full stadium closure," the Fare spokesperson added.

"These sanctions are being applied regularly for offences in UEFA competitions, often against resistance from supporter groups and football stakeholders.

“The 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.”