England manager Gareth Southgate has defended his team’s decision not to leave the pitch after their match against Bulgaria was twice paused because of racist chanting, claiming that his side had made an important “statement”.
Southgate’s men stood firm in the face of sickening racism as England thrashed Bulgaria on a night of shame in Sofia.
The Three Lions took a giant stride towards Euro 2020 as they bounced back from Friday’s shock loss in the Czech Republic, yet this will match will be remembered for all the wrong reasons.
Nazi salutes and racist chanting marred Monday’s thumping 6-0 win in Bulgaria, where Marcus Rashford and Harry Kane goals complemented braces from Ross Barkley and Raheem Sterling as the players showed great dignity in finishing the match.
And, after the match, Southgate said that England’s stance was not only the right one but an effective one.
“We know it is an unacceptable situation,” he told ITV.
“I think we have managed to make two statements by winning the game but also we have raised the awareness of everyone to this situation.
“The game was stopped twice and I know for some people that won’t be enough but I think as a group we were on board with that process.”
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