Stan Collymore urges England players to refuse to play a World Cup qualifier and even FORFEIT games if racial abuse of their black players continues as he insists ‘extreme action’ is needed or the issue ‘is only going to get worse’
- Stan Collymore has called on England players to forfeit games over racial abuse
- He spoke in the aftermath of racist abuse sent to three black England players
- Collymore said the abuse sent to Marcus Rashford, Jadon Sancho and Bukayo Saka would get worse when the new domestic season starts
- The former Liverpool striker called for ‘direct consequences’ for racist behaviour
Stan Collymore has urged England players to refuse to play in World Cup qualifier or even forfeit matches to protest the racist abuse hurled at black players.
The former Liverpool, Nottingham Forest and England striker was speaking in the wake of the vile abuse directed towards Marcus Rashford, Jadon Sancho and Bukayo Saka on social media following their missed penalties in the Euro 2020 final against Italy.
A mural of Rashford in Manchester was also defaced with racist slurs, which have since been erased or replaced with messages of support for the Manchester United forward.
Stan Collymore has called for England to forfeit games over racist abuse of their black players
While debate has raged since on how to tackle English football’s racism problem, Collymore said the time had come for extreme action from the national team.
‘The only way we’re going to deal with the situation English football finds itself in with racism is by taking people’s toys away from them for a longer period,’ Collymore told The Mirror.
‘And I’m not talking social media boycotts, either. It’s going to take something bigger than that.
Fans left dozens of messages of support for Rashford on a mural of him that was vandalised
‘Something like England’s senior players refusing to play in one of their World Cup qualifiers against Hungary, Andorra or Poland when the new season gets underway.’
Collymore warned that while Euro 2020 was over, the abuse suffered by black players would return once the domestic season starts.
‘We all know that between now and September 2, when they go to Budapest to face Hungary, the issue is going to get worse,’ he said.
‘Tribal club allegiances will kick back in and the second Sancho, Saka and Rashford — or any of England’s black players — do something against a rival team they will be subjected to the sort of abuse they have suffered this week.
‘Unless there’s a direct consequence for those who think it is okay to abuse others based on the colour of their skin, then they are going to continue to believe they can get away with doing what they are doing.
England players almost walked off the pitch against Bulgaria in October 2019 over racist abuse
‘So I’d like to hear the FA come out and say, “Against Andorra at Wembley on September 5, the black players who represent England have decided they will not be making themselves available for the national team. And, on the back of it, neither will their white team-mates”.’
Gareth Southgate’s men nearly walked off the pitch after England players were subject to racist abuse in a Euro 2020 qualifier against Bulgaria in October 2019 that was stopped twice due to behaviour including monkey chants and Nazi salutes.
Despite calls for serious punishment, including being banned from European competition, Bulgaria were fined €75,000 and made to play two matches behind closed doors.