Montenegro charged after racist chanting towards England players

UEFA have charged Montenegro following the racist chants directed at England players in Monday’s Euro 2020 qualifying match.

Callum Hudson-Odoi said he heard monkey chants during England’s 5-1 victory, while Raheem Sterling and England coach Gareth Southgate said they heard abuse directed towards left-back Danny Rose.

UEFA have clarified to ESPN they believe this is Montenegro’s first offence relating to racist chanting and as such, the minimum punishment if found guilty is a partial stadium closure. A fine would only be handed down for a second offence.

“I definitely heard abuse of Danny Rose when he got booked at the end of the game,” Southgate said. “There’s no doubt in my mind that happened and we’ll report it to UEFA. It’s not acceptable.”

A UEFA statement confirmed on Tuesday that Montenegro have been charged with racist behaviour as well as a string of other offences.

“Disciplinary proceedings have been opened following the European Qualifiers group A match between Montenegro and England (1-5), played on 26 March in Montenegro,” the statement read.

“Charges against Montenegro:

– Setting off of fireworks – Art. 16 (2) of the UEFA Disciplinary Regulations
– Throwing of objects – Art. 16 (2) DR
– Racist behaviour – Art. 14 DR
– Crowd disturbances – Art. 16 (2) DR
– Stairways blocked – Art. 38 of the UEFA Safety and Security Regulations

“The case will be dealt with by the UEFA Control, Ethics and Disciplinary on 16 May.”

Sterling said after the match: “It’s a shame to see this keep going on. We can only bring awareness to the situation. It’s now time for the people in charge to stamp it out. You can fine someone but what’s that going to do? You’ve got to make it a bit harder.

“You’ve got to do something that will really make them think twice because if their team can’t play with fans it’s going to be difficult for them.”

Southgate added: “I know what I heard. We’ll definitely deal with it in the right way and we have to make sure we support our players.”

The Professional Footballers’ Association, the trade union for professional footballers in England and Wales, said it was “dismayed” with the behaviour of a selection of fans in Monday’s qualifier.

PFA head of equalities Simone Pound said: “The racist chanting leaves a slur on the game and a horrible sense of deja vu for many black players who have experienced the same thing whilst representing England over the course of many years.

“We are dismayed by the racial abuse that England’s black players endured.”

PFA Deputy Chief Executive and FIFPro European President Bobby Barnes spoke with UEFA President Aleksander Ceferin on Tuesday to discuss the incidents from the Group A encounter.

“Aleksander reiterated his commitment to dealing with this stain on our game and to taking strong action once the evidence has been properly examined,” Barnes said.

Meanwhile, UEFA also confirmed an ethics and disciplinary inspector has been appointed to evaluate a complaint lodged by Chelsea about alleged racist abuse of Hudson-Odoi during the club’s 5-0 Europa League win away at Dynamo Kiev on March 14.

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