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Shaun Wright-Phillips calls for players to walk off pitch amid England boss Gareth Southga | Football | Sport


Shaun Wright-Phillips believes players should walk off the pitch if they suffer from racist abuse during a match.

England travel to Bulgaria next month to play a Euro 2020 qualifier at the Stadion Vasil Levski and the ground will be partially closed after racist behaviour from fans in June.

This week, England boss Gareth Southgate said he would speak to his players about how to deal with possible racism.

“It is a concern, we’re not confident that we’ll go there and nothing will happen,” he said.

“It’s something that we’ve already planned.

“We’ve already planned what our schedule looks like and we’re going to discuss it with the players before we go, because we’re aware that there is history there and we want to make sure that we’re all prepared for what might happen and how we want to respond.”

Speaking on ITV’s Good Morning Britain, Wright-Phillips said walking off the pitch would send a strong message that racist abuse was unacceptable.

He said: “I think it will be a massive step, because they will make a stand and say ‘Look, we’re not taking it anymore’.

“They actually don’t have another way of punishing it. It’s [racism] has been going on for a while now.”

Former Manchester United player Romelu Lukaku was abused by Cagliari supporters when they aimed monkey chants at him as he played for Inter Milan at the start of the month.

Wright-Phillips, who played for Chelsea and Manchester City, opened up about the racist abuse he received during his career and fears his children may hear the chants.

“The racial abuse I faced was pretty much what Lukaku faced,” he said.

“It was mainly the noises and sounds to be honest with you, it’s not nice.

“It’s very hard, especially when you don’t see people suffering the consequences. For me, at the end of the day, there’s kids in the stands and families.

“I don’t want to be bringing my kid to a football match knowing they’re going to be hearing that [racism] and thinking that’s the right thing to do.”



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