‘It is a seminal moment’: Ian Wright says England players taking action against racism made him ‘feel really good’ as he gives impassioned speech after witnessing the abuse in Bulgaria
- Racist abuse led to England’s Euro 2020 qualifier in Bulgaria being halted twice
- Fans were seen making Nazi salutes and making monkey noises towards players
- Gareth Southgate spoke before the game about his fear of potential racism
Ian Wright was proud of England’s players for taking action after receiving racist abuse.
The match against Bulgaria had to be halted twice after monkey chants were heard from sections of the stand.
ITV pundit and former Three Lions international, Wright, was glad that England took a stand against racism.
Ian Wright was proud of England’s players for taking action after receiving racist abuse
Wright said: ‘What we have seen happen today, you have seen Tyrone Mings, this could have been a day if we had not been able to implement the protocol, the debut would have been marred and would have finished like that for him.
‘That doesn’t happen anymore.
‘It is a seminal moment, it is a fantastic moment. I feel for the Bulgaria people I genuinely do, but you have to look at the banners the stadium half closed down, it does nothing. We have said it for many years.
‘UEFA do not really deep down care about the punishments they’ve put out. This should have been in place ten years ago, 20 years ago. It was not done and now we have seen what has happened.
England all but ensured their qualification for Euro 2020 with a comprehensive 6-0 victory
Fans perform a Nazi salute despite repeated warnings about the match being stopped if that racist behaviour continued
‘We have got a generation of players, not just black players, and people who will not tolerate it no more. My generation was the generation of turn the other cheek, of Martin Luther King.
‘This is the by any means necessary generation, the Malcolm X generation. They have their own platforms and now they have the protocol to stick to.
‘I feel really good watching this.
‘I’ve played games with racism going on and people say beat them on the pitch.
‘It doesn’t do anything, you don’t beat them on the pitch, I have scored two goals against teams and they have still given me racist abuse. You don’t win. Today they own because the fans had to leave.’
A fan holds up a No Respect jumper, a reference to UEFA’s Respect campaign which encourages equality in football