England striker Tammy Abraham has warned opposing fans that he and his teammates won’t tolerate racial abuse from the stands in their upcoming Euro 2020 qualifying matches.
England are set to take on the Czech Republic on Friday and Bulgaria on Monday, with the match against the latter taking place in a partially-closed stadium – a legacy of racist chants made by Bulgarian fans during matches against the Czech Republic and Kosovo in June.
And, speaking to the press ahead of the two games, Chelsea and England frontman Abraham made clear what will happen if he or his teammates are subjected to racist abuse from fans.
“If it happens to one of us, it happens to all of us,” he said.
“Harry Kane even said that if we’re not happy, if a player is not happy, we all come off the pitch together.”
The proposed walk-off was discussed in a team meeting with England manager Gareth Southgate and the full squad, with players debating the right course of action in the event of players being targeted with racist abuse.
England manager Gareth Southgate called a team meeting on Monday to discuss what action the players would take if they were the target of repeated racist abuse in the future.
The governing body for football in Europe, UEFA, has a three-step plan that allows the match referee to abandon a match if fans do not respond positively to warnings made to the crowd during the game.
Abraham’s Chelsea teammate Fikayo Tomori explained how the team discussions came to their decision.
“It was just about, if it does happen, which unfortunately it does sometimes, what we need to do and what the protocol is,” he said.
“He just briefed us about what was going to happen. We should be prepared for that because we know that sometimes you can go to countries and stuff like that can happen unfortunately.
“We are just there to play the game and whatever happens in the stands, we’ll just let the authorities deal with that.”