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England players re-iterate anti-racist message

This is a story from the FSF archive – the FSF and SD merged to become the FSA in 2019.

England’s players have this morning (5th September) reiterated their support to Kick It Out by donning the campaign’s wristbands at the squad’s open training session at Wembley. The move comes on the back of alleged racist chanting aimed at them by a section of Bulgarian supporters in Friday’s European Championship qualifying match in Sofia.

Lord Herman Ouseley, chair of Kick It Out, said: “This sends out a positive and powerful message that we need to remind ourselves that the game is open to all people from all backgrounds and nationalities, and to keep our behaviour in check even in the white heat international football can generate.”

Wayne Rooney commented on the issue after the game: “As players we can hear it on the pitch. It has been going on for years and it is not right. It needs to stop and hopefully something will be done about it.”

Some England supporters were also accused of responding with anti-Roma chanting during the match. Ouseley continued: “There are issues we are still grappling with and anti-Traveller chants is one of them.”

UEFA will wait for the report of Belgian referee Frank de Bleeckere before deciding whether to act.

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