England manager Gareth Southgate praised his players for making another stand against racism in football following the Three Lions’ 6-0 win over Bulgaria on Monday evening.
While England strolled to victory in Sofia with some lovely goals, the match will instead be remembered for the racist abuse targeted at some of England’s players such as debutant Tyrone Mings and winger Raheem Sterling.
Speaking to ITV Sport after the match, Southgate also praised the officials for following the UEFA protocol against racism, with the match stopped twice in the first half by referee Ivan Bebek.
“I have to say the officials were onto everything very, we reported everything immediately when we heard things,” the manager said.
“We had constant communication with the fourth official and the referee and I was in contact with the players all the way through the first half in particular and then again at half time.
“We know that it’s an unacceptable situation and I think we’ve managed to make two statements, really.
“By winning the game but also we have raised awareness to everybody of the situation. The game was stopped twice and I know for some people that won’t be enough but as a group we’re on board with that process.”
England‘s players now return to commitments with their club sides and need a point in their next Euro 2020 qualifier versus Montonegro in November to secure qualification to the tournament’s finals in the summer.