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World Cup 2018: England players to be briefed on dealing with racist abuse at tournament in Russia

A number of racism issues have reared their head in Russian football over the years

Sunday 20 May 2018 12:29 BST
Kazan Arena, one of the World Cup 2018 venues
Kazan Arena, one of the World Cup 2018 venues (AFP/Getty Images)

England’s World Cup squad will be briefed on how to deal with potential racist abuse in Russia at this summer’s finals.

A number of racism issues have reared their head in Russian football over the years, most recently when Fifa started disciplinary proceedings against the Russian Football Union for alleged racist chanting aimed at French players when the two countries played in March.

The Football Association’s protocol is for players to report any suspected abuse from fans to the referee or one of the match officials immediately. And England manager Gareth Southgate revealed part of his planning for the tournament will include preparing his players for any racist incidents they may face.

“We work with our players on how we will support each other if anything like that was to happen,” said Southgate. “There would be some official protocol to follow if it did happen but we really hope it is a situation that doesn’t emerge, and that it’s a festival of football we are talking about on the pitch and not talking about things off the field.

“The most important thing is that internally we are able to support our players if something does happen and they understand how their team-mates and our staff are going to go about that. There are some sessions we will do with them about that, and then there is the official protocol to be followed. As a federation I think we would be strong in pushing for the right solutions within that.

“So we have everything in place, but most importantly is that internally the players feel they have that level of support.”

England kick off their World Cup campaign against Tunisia in Volgograd on Monday, 18 June.


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