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  1. ITV Report

England team briefed on racism ahead of Euro qualifier matches against Bulgaria and Czech Republic

England football players have been briefed on what to do if they encounter racism, both on and off the pitch, ahead of a duo of key matches.

Centre back Aston Villa player Tyrone Mings, who is part of the national squad, told ITV News his team mates had been giving a locker room outline by manager Gareth Southgate to promote unity within the team's approach.

The team will clash with Czech Republic on Friday evening, looking to bring home a win to secure a place in the UEFA 2020 Euro qualifier.

Four days later, they'll meet Bulgaria in the nation's capital, again hoping to bag the goals needed to fix their place in next year's tournament.

England manager Gareth Southgate has briefed his team on what to do if they encounter racism. Credit: PA

Speaking to ITV News, Mr Mings said: "Hopefully something doesn't happen and hopefully we're not exposed to any form of racism - whether that be player or staff member - but if we are this is the protocol and this is what should happen."

He continued: "It was a really powerful and important meeting to make sure we were well equipped going into these to games. To know that the manager is behind us and we stand united as a group of players, that we have the full backing of players and staff."

Whilst he didn't go into detail about what would happen if racist incidents happened during a match, he reiterated that team members have been told to let authorities do their job and not to "take things into your own hands".

Social media companies have been working to crack down on racism. Credit: PA

He also spoke out about racism focused on players on social media: "To see the fact that these big platforms are only just meeting with certain companies to try and sort something out, after there has been a few high profile issues with racism, issues that they haven't been able to get away from, is frustrating.

"This is an issue that is going on in the whole country and football. And it's highlighted in social media because it's an easy thing to do."

He called for "restrictions and penalties" against those who direct abuse at players, staff and those connected to the sport.