World Cup 2018: England have 'plan in place' if players are racially abused


Asked what his reaction will be should his players be subjected to racism, England manager Gareth Southgate and former England international said: "In an idealistic world, people would say to walk off the pitch, but that means we would be thrown out of the tournament, which many people would agree with. I don't think the players would want that, because they have worked all their lives to play at a World Cup. It is important to get the balance right, but it will be tough to please everybody."

"Players, like everyone, don't really know what to expect," Southgate added.

Three Lions defender Danny Rose has said he is "numb" to racial abuse and has "no faith" in the football authorities' "justice system". The 27-year-old has told his family not to travel to Russia this summer.

The Russian Football Union was recently fined £22,000 for racist chanting by fans during a friendly against France in March.

"If I'm racially abused out there, nothing is going to change," Rose told the Evening Standard. "It shouldn't be like that but it is."

The Tottenham full-back said he was racially abused and hit with stones during an England Under-21 game in Serbia in October 2012.

England have held a team meeting to discuss what would happen if players were subjected to racism during this summer's tournament, which starts on 14 June.

Rose said: "I said: 'What are we trying to do here? Are we trying to play football or are we trying to change the world?' Whatever we do here isn't going to change what is happening all around the world. I'm just numb to it now."

Southgate added: "We are all hopeful that it will go well, but we are having conversations in case it happens. We have a plan in place. We have personal support, team support and official protocol in place. The players are clear on where I stand and the support they have from me. We don't want to have to talk about it, but it is important that we do. The biggest impact we can have is as one of the most diverse squads to have left England and the way that they all get on, and hopefully that message will come through."    (BBC)

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