Published On: Tue, Oct 8th, 2019

England planning walk off if stars suffer racist abuse in Czech Republic or Bulgaria games | Football | Sport

Harry Kane is ready to lead a walk off of England’s players if any are subject to racist abuse in the Czech Republic or Bulgaria.

Chelsea striker Tammy Abraham has claimed that Kane took the lead in an England players’ meeting at St George’s Park on Monday night about potential racist abuse at St George’s, suggesting that players should walk off if they are subjected to the treatment dished out in Montenegro earlier this year.

On that occasion, England played on after Danny Rose, Raheem Sterling and Callum Hudson-Odoi were abused – but that may not happen if there are similar scenes in Prague on Friday or Sofia next Monday.

Head coach Gareth Southgate said England will follow UEFA’s protocols and report any incident to the referee before making a final decision should abuse occur.

But Chelsea star Abraham, a victim of abuse himself this season after missing a penalty for Chelsea in the Super Cup final, believes the guilty should be given no second chance.

“We’ve had meetings about it since we arrived and have touched base on how to deal with the situation,” said the Premier League’s top English scorer.

Abraham added: “Harry even said that if it happens, we speak to the player and if he’s not happy, we all come off together.

“Don’t isolate one person, we’re a whole team. If it happens to one of us, it happens to all of us.

“We did speak about the protocols. If we decide we want to stop the game, no matter what the score is, as a team we’ll decide together.

“For me personally, I think it’s just one strike because it gives people excuses. Once, twice, three times – it gives silly people excuses.“

Uefa protocols on the issue state that if abuse is heard the first step is that an announcement is made to the crowd. Secondly there is another announcement and then the referee can take the players off for a time. The third step is abandonment of the match.

UEFA’s rulebook states if a team walks off before the final whistle, they automatically forfeit the game 3-0.

There is no precedent for a team walking off of from a competitive game after being subjected to racist abuse – although QPR’s Under 18’s did do just that in a friendly in Spain in August – and there would be outrage if sanctions were then imposed.

Abraham added: “I think if that happens and we do decide to leave the field, obviously it’s serious.

“We’d just let the FA or whoever deal with whatever’s next, the scores or what happens with the points. We don’t stand for it and we want the world to see that we don’t stand for the silly abuse.”

Bulgaria’s Vasil Levski Stadium will be partly closed on Monday following racist behaviour by their fans in Euro 2020 qualifying games against the Czech Republic and Kosovo in June. And England players were abused in Bulgaria in 2011.

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