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Southgate demands protection for England players after racist abuse


Video footage also appeared to show racist gestures being carried out.

The Football Association (FA) immediately asked Fifa to investigate the incidents after taking statements from players.

Sterling also had paper cups and debris thrown at him as he celebrated opening the scoring at the Puskas Arena in England’s 4-0 World Cup qualifying win.

In a statement, the FA said: “It is extremely disappointing to hear reports of discriminatory actions towards some of our England players. We will be asking FIFA to investigate the matter. We continue to support the players and staff in our collective determination to highlight and tackle discrimination in all its forms.”

Southgate insisted it was up to the game’s controlling bodies to put an end to such ugly incidents.

He said: “Everybody knows what we stand for as a team and that is completely unacceptable. Everything is being reported and we have to see what happens from there.

“That’s for other people to deal with. There is no more that this group of players and all the staff could do in the fight against racism. We are trying to uphold our part of it and other people have got to take the right action to make progress.

“I don’t think our players can do anything more than they have done over the last two or three years in trying to get the right messages out, take the right stands and it is for other people to protect them. It is for me to protect them in the main, but for the authorities to protect them as well. They shouldn’t have to be subjected to any form of racism.”

Sterling was reportedly subjected to abuse while on the pitch, with Bellingham then targeted as he warmed up on the touchline.

Many England players did not hear the chants during the match in front of around 60,000 fans – but defender John Stones said afterwards: “It is so sad to think that this happens at our games and I hope UEFA and whoever needs to take care of it does and I’m sure they will.


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