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England players prepared to walk off if they hear racist abuse

Tammy Abraham

England players say they are prepared to walk off the pitch if they are targeted by racist abuse in their Euro 2020 qualifiers.

"If it happens to one of us, it happens to all of us," Abraham said.

"Harry Kane even said that if we're not happy, if a player is not happy, we all come off the pitch together."

England play the Czech Republic on Friday and Bulgaria on Monday - in a partially closed stadium after Bulgarian supporters were found guilty of racist behaviour during matches in June.

UEFA has ordered the Bulgarian FA to block off 5,000 seats at the Vasil Levski National Stadium.

Following a discussion between England manager Gareth Southgate and the team on Monday, England players agreed to adhere to UEFA's "three-step" protocol to tackle racism.

"We did speak about that [the protocol]," Abraham said. "Harry Kane did ask the question about instead of going through the three steps, if we decide that we want to stop the game - no matter what the score is - if we're not happy with it, as a team we'll decide whether or not to stay on the pitch.

"If it happens and let's say there's a warning or whatever in the stadium, then it happens again, we have to make a decision as a team and with the staff."

Liverpool defender Trent Alexander-Arnold also agreed the team should follow the protocols but added: "If it does get extreme we may have to take a different action.

"It's a team decision, one that we all need to make. It doesn't matter if one player is abused or the team - we are one group.

"Nobody should be made to feel uncomfortable on the pitch. Everyone should be given the chance to play in a fair environment. We are a team. If one person is abused then we all are, we are one big family."


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