Montenegro racism: England’s Danny Rose ‘lost for words’ after Uefa issue punishment

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There should be ‘real punishment’ for racist abuse – Sterling

Danny Rose says he is “lost for words” after Montenegro were ordered to play their next home match behind closed doors following the racist abuse of England players by supporters in March.

England won the Euro 2020 qualifier 5-1 in Podgorica but the match was overshadowed by racist chanting aimed at several players, including Rose.

Montenegro have also received a fine of 20,000 euros (£17,253) from Uefa.

“I don’t think it’s a harsh enough punishment,” Rose told Sky Sports.

“I’m not surprised. It’s obviously a bit of a shame this is where we’re at now and I just have to get on with it,” the England left-back added.

“It’s a bit shocking but there’s not much I can do now. I just hope I don’t ever have to play there again and we just have to move on now.”

Montenegro’s fine includes different charges of setting off fireworks, throwing objects, crowd disturbances and blocking stairways.

In a statement the Football Association said: “We hope that their next home match being played behind closed doors sends out a message that racism has no place in football or in wider society.”

Anti-discrimination charity Kick It Out were critical of the penalty given, saying in a statement: “Ever since England’s black players received this shocking abuse we have called for the strongest punishment. This decision falls way short of that.”

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Speaking earlier this month, Rose said he “can’t wait to see the back of football” and said he was frustrated at the lack of action taken against fans’ racism.

The Tottenham defender said: “When countries get fined what I probably spend on a night out in London, what do you expect?”

Uefa’s disciplinary committee announced a number of punishments on Friday.

They included:

  • Paris St-Germain forward Neymar banned for three European games for insulting match officials on Instagram
  • Slovakia fined 43,000 euros (£37,103) for a number of charges including illicit chants in Euro 2020 qualifier against Hungary
  • Hungary given a partial stadium closure for a number of charges including racist behaviour and fined 23,500 euros (£20,277) from the same match
  • Dynamo Kiev fined 60,000 euros (£51,779) following a Europa League game against Chelsea
  • Bayern Munich fined 12,000 euros (£10,355) for blocking stairways in a Champions League tie against Liverpool.
  • Republic of Ireland fined 10,000 euros (£8,629) after their fans threw tennis ball onto the pitch during a Euro 2020 qualifier against Georgia

Raheem Sterling scored England’s fifth goal in the 81st minute and celebrated by putting his hands to his ears, a gesture he later said was a response to the racist abuse, which was also aimed at Callum Hudson-Odoi.

In injury time Rose was booked following a strong challenge on Aleksandar Boljevic, with more racist chants aimed at the 28-year-old.

Montenegro coach Ljubisa Tumbakovic said he did not “hear or notice any” racist abuse, but England manager Gareth Southgate said “there’s no doubt in my mind it happened – it’s unacceptable”.

The minimum punishment from Uefa for an incident of racism is a partial stadium closure, while a second offence results in one match being played behind closed doors and a fine of 50,000 euros (£42,500).

Montenegro’s next home match is a Euro 2020 qualifier against Kosovo on 7 June.

Last weekend, professional footballers in England and Wales boycotted social media for 24 hours, to protest against the way social networks and football authorities respond to racism.

It followed a number of high-profile incidents in domestic and international matches this season.