The Union of European Football Associations (UEFA) announced on Tuesday the opening of disciplinary proceedings against Montenegro for “racist behavior” among its supporters during that country’s Euro 2020 qualifiers clash with England on Monday.
Several high profile English players spoke about the racist abuse they had received after Monday night’s game.
Manchester City striker Raheem Sterling, after scoring the fifth English goal celebrated in front of the Montenegro supporters and waved his finger in the direction of the crowd. Posting a photo of the celebration on social media later, Sterling wrote: “The best way to silence those who hate (yes, I mean the racists).
On Sky Sports, he said he wanted to “show them that it takes more than that to disrupt and stop us. It’s 2019 now, I can not stop repeating it. It’s unfortunate to see that it continues and we can only make people aware of this situation.”
“You have to be harder, punish the fans so that they can not come to the games. Do something that will make them think twice. If their team can not have their fans, it will be difficult, ” added Sterling.
England coach Gareth Southgate said he heard racist songs. “I clearly heard insults to Danny Rose… There is no doubt in my mind this has happened. We will make sure that this will be reported to UEFA because it is not acceptable,” Southgate said.
The Montenegrin Football Association has said that it will investigate the allegations of racist chants, and if confirmed, will “take all necessary measures to identify irresponsible individuals who could have incited such behavior,” adding that it would constitute grounds for being banned from future games.
Montenegro fans are also being investigated for throwing objects, using pyrotechnic devices, disturbing public order and blocking stairs.
UEFA’s disciplinary bodies will vote on the issue on 16 May.