England manager Gareth Southgate condemned racist abuse of England players, after his team’s 5-1 win over Montenegro in Podgorica.
There were widespread reports from those present at the game that the Three Lions’ black players, Danny Rose and Raheem Sterling in particular, had been subject to racist abuse from parts of the Podgorica City Stadium.
Things because heated on the pitch in the closing stages, as Rose received a booking for a late challenge. According to reporters present, and Southgate himself, the Tottenham left-back then received a torrent of abuse from the home fans.
“I definitely heard abuse on Danny Rose when he got booked at the end of the game,” said Southgate, speaking to ITV post-game. “There’s no doubt in my mind that it happened, and we’ll make sure that that’s reported officially. It’s not acceptable.”
There was also a suggestion that Sterling was responding to racist taunts when celebrating his late goal, England’s fifth on the night.
When asked about that, the England manager was reluctant to speculate.
“I’m not sure yet,” he said. “I had a quick chat with Danny because I heard what happened there, but I’ve not had a chance to speak with Raheem yet. Whatever’s happened, we will report. I don’t want to speculate yet, but I know what I heard.”
“We’ll definitely deal with it in the right way and we have to make sure we support our players.”
Sterling put in another brilliant individual performance and was instrumental in England’s third and fourth goals before adding the fifth himself.
After he scored the goal, Sterling looked full of emotion as he celebrated in front of Montenegro’s ultras section.
ITV pundit Ian Wright did not mince his words when it came to assessing the situation.
“It will probably go to UEFA and they’ll be fined a pittance and we’ll get the same thing again here the next time or somewhere else in Europe,” he said, speaking in the studio after the match. “It’s not going to stop them.”