Gareth Southgate says England players are wary of reporting racist abuse because they do not believe it will be dealt with “appropriately”.
Montenegro have been charged by UEFA following allegations of racist behaviour during their Euro 2020 qualifier against the Three Lions on Monday.
Southgate claimed full-back Danny Rose was targeted after picking up a late yellow card, while Callum Hudson-Odoi revealed he heard “monkey stuff” in Podgorica.
Montenegro coach Ljubisa Tumbakovic said he had “not heard nor noticed any chanting”, but the nation has received multiple charges from UEFA, including one for racist behaviour.
The Football Association has described the behaviour as “abhorrent” and Southgate believes his players are hesitant about reporting incidents for fear that they will not be taken seriously.
“We spoke to them a lot before the summer and they were very clear they wanted to play their football,” he told reporters.
— Raheem Sterling (@sterling7) March 25, 2019
“Some of them did not even want to report things because they don’t have faith that things will be dealt with appropriately or they would make a difference. So that is why I am conscious of their feelings when I am speaking as well.
“It is an impossible line to find the right path. I think I have to speak as I always do, but I can’t discuss sanctions, because what is the right sanction? Is it a big fine? Is it the closing of sections of a stadium? What is honestly going to make any difference?
“The difference, for me, is educating people. I find that difficult, because I don’t find anybody as different to anybody else. Kids are born into the world and they don’t have a bone of malice in their body, so it is what we impose on them as adults.
“We can criticise authorities for sanctions, but the problem is deeper than sanctions.”
UEFA has also charged Montenegro for setting off fireworks, throwing objects, crowd disturbances and the blocking of stairways. Its Control, Ethics and Disciplinary board will hear the case on May 16.
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