England 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 Sterling as the players showed great dignity in finishing the match.
Retweeting a news article in which Bulgaria coach Krasimir Balakov accused England of having a bigger racism problem than his own country, Sterling commented after the match: “ Mmmmh ... Not sure about this one chief.”
He added: “Feeling sorry for Bulgaria to be represented by such idiots in their stadium. Anyway.. 6-0 and we go back home, at least we did our job. Safe travel to our fans, u guys did well”
Tyrone Mings, another one of the targets for the abuse, admitted what should have been a special personal landmark was tarnished.
“It was a great occasion, I made my England debut, but it was slightly overshadowed by a few disappointing chants which were clear to hear on the pitch,” he told ITV.
“I thought we showed a great response, a good togetherness and ultimately we let the football do the talking.
“Hopefully the higher powers will deal with the incidents that happened, we couldn’t do much more on the pitch.”
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