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Good news as Montenegro charged with racist behaviour by UEFA after England match

11 months ago

England players were subjected to racist abuse on Monday night and great to see UEFA reacting so quickly.

Only hours after the final whistle, it has now been confirmed (see below) that Montenegro have been charged with racist behaviour towards the England players.

As a Newcastle (and England) fan of many years, it does really seem like another world when you see what still goes on in other countries.

It would be naive/stupid to think that there aren’t still people with racist beliefs still turning up at St James Park and Wembley.

However, what is now deemed acceptable behaviour in public is very different to my early years following Newcastle United.

The likes of Show Racism The Red Card have done great work in educating people and if you had people throwing bananas or starting racist chants inside St James Park these days, you would be stunned.

In the 70s and 80s though, it was a fact of life. Just as it still is in some of these countries where attitudes haven’t similarly progressed.

As a Newcastle fan, I hate to think of a history where we hadn’t had the likes of Les Ferdinand, Andy Cole, Tino, Mirandinha and so many others playing for Newcastle United, right through to the players we have in the team/squad at the moment.

I think the perfect illustration of how times have moved on where supporting Newcastle United is concerned, is that I had to stop and think as to which of our current players are black/non-white or whatever.

It is such an irrelevance now for the vast majority of us and the idea of judging a player by the colour of his skin is something that just wouldn’t occur to you.

BBC Sport report:

‘Uefa has charged Montenegro with racist behaviour following the abuse suffered by England players in their Euro 2020 qualifier in Podgorica on Monday.

England won 5-1 but the match was overshadowed by racist chanting from some home fans directed at several England players, including Danny Rose.

Uefa said “disciplinary proceedings” had been opened against Montenegro with one charge for “racist behaviour”.

The case will be dealt with by European football’s governing body on 16 May.

Montenegro coach Ljubisa Tumbakovic said he did not “hear or notice any” racist abuse.

But England manager Gareth Southgate, speaking to BBC Radio 5 Live said he “definitely heard the racist abuse of Rose”.

“There’s no doubt in my mind it happened,” he added. “I know what I heard. It’s unacceptable.

“We have to make sure our players feel supported, they know the dressing room is there and we as a group of staff are there for them.

“We have to report it through the correct channels. It is clear that so many people have heard it and we have to continue to make strides in our country and trust the authorities to take the right action.”

Anti-discrimination group Fare said they had identified the match as “high risk” for racism before the game and executive director Piara Powar said: “We had an observer present who picked up evidence of racial abuse.

“Our monitoring team have been compiling the evidence we have before presenting it to Uefa.”

The minimum punishment from Uefa for an incident of racism is a partial stadium closure, while a second offence results in one match being played behind closed doors and a fine of 50,000 euros (£42,500).

Uefa rules add: “Any subsequent offence is punished with more than one match behind closed doors, a stadium closure, the forfeiting of a match, the deduction of points and/or disqualification from the competition.”


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