Harry Kane says he is prepared to lead England team off over racist abuse
Several England players were subjected to racist abuse in Montenegro
Harry Kane has said he would be willing to lead his England teammates in walking off the field if they are subjected to the sort of racist abuse that some players suffered in Montenegro on Monday.
The home fans targeted Danny Rose and Callum Hudson-Odoi, who says he heard monkey chants. England manager Gareth Southgate testifies to his claims. England won the game 5-1, with Raheem Sterling scoring the fifth, and cupping his ears to the home fans in celebration.
It is sadly not a seldom occurrence for England players to suffer this sort of racial abuse on away trips, but never has an England captain walked off the pitch. Harry Kane has said he is willing to change that if necessary.
“I’m supportive of my team-mates and if it happened again and they weren’t happy and wanted to talk about it or take a breather I would fully back them,” Kane said after receiving an MBE for services to football on Thursday.
“We are a team, a unit and we stick behind all of our players. Hopefully it will never happen again but if it did, I would take their lead on that and whatever they wanted we would support them in that. It’s terrible, it’s unacceptable, and I thought our players handled it so well and were so professional and focused on their job.”
Kane heaped praise on his teammates for how they handled the situation in the face of vile abuse.
“It’s great how the boys have handled it,” Kane said.
“When stuff like that happens it’s about more than football, but the boys didn’t let it affect them and it proved the best way of proving those people wrong by winning the game and scoring goals. Now it’s up to the people in charge to make sure the right action is taken because it’s not acceptable in football or any part of life.”
Uefa have opened disciplinary proceedings against Montenegro. The case is to be heard on May 16 with a partial stadium closure the most likely sanction.
Chelsea FC have also offered Hudson-Odoi counselling sessions, should he seek them, after the 18-year-old was racially abused at two different matches in 11 days - the first in Chelsea's Europa League tie against Dynamo Kyiv.