Southgate hits out at racism | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, March 27, 2019 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:00 AM, March 27, 2019

Southgate hits out at racism

Gareth Southgate has called for education to stamp out racism in football as European governing body UEFA opened disciplinary proceedings against Montenegro following abuse aimed at black England players during his side's 5-1 Euro 2020 qualifier win in Podgorica.

Raheem Sterling celebrated the fifth goal on Monday by cupping his ears towards the home fans as a sign of defiance, while Callum Hudson-Odoi said he and Danny Rose heard monkey noises aimed at them.

"Sanctions are worthless if there is nothing alongside that to help educate people," said England coach Southgate. "My kids don't think for one minute about where people are born, what language they speak, what colour they are.

"There's an innocence about young people that is only influenced by older people. So we have to make sure that the education is right for everybody.

"In our country, (it's) the same. I've said this before, I'm not sitting here just criticising what's happened tonight because in our country we have the same issue. We're not free of it."

Sterling's fifth capped a fine performance in which Ross Barkley struck twice and Michael Keane and Harry Kane also scored as England overcame the hosts' early opener.

Southgate said the racist chanting had marred the win, which leaves England in charge of Group A after two big wins.

"What we have to do is make sure our players feel supported," Southgate told BBC Radio. "They know that the dressing room is there and we're there as a group of staff for them. We'll report the incidents through the correct channels. It's clear that so many people have heard it."

"We have to make sure that in our country we continue to make the strides and that we've got to trust the authorities to take the right action here."

UEFA regulations state that if supporters engage in racist behaviour then "the member association or club responsible is punished with a minimum of a partial stadium closure".

UEFA said on Tuesday that disciplinary proceedings had been opened and charges against Montenegro including racist behaviour and crowd disturbances. The case will be dealt with on May 16.

Sterling tweeted a picture of his goal celebration, saying: "Best way to silence the haters (and yeah I mean racists)".

"It's 2019 now, I keep saying it. It's a shame to see this going on and we can only bring awareness to the situation," he told Sky Sports.

"It's now time for the people in charge to put a real stamp on it because you can fine someone, but what is that going to do?"

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