England’s players will not walk off for racist abuse, says Gareth Southgate

The manager has listened to the squad, who would not want the story to become one about them as individuals if they left the pitch

Gareth Southgate says England’s footballers will not walk off the pitch in protest on the next occasion they are subjected to racial abuse, having held a series of conversations with his players in which they made it clear to the manager they did not want “to be the story”.

Two months since England’s Euro 2020 qualifier in Montenegro was tarnished by monkey chants from some of the home crowd, Southgate and his coaching staff, together with senior figures at the Football Association, have been deliberating about what action the players should take if the same happens again. The manager has spoken to Danny Rose, Raheem Sterling and Callum Hudson-Odoi, as well as a number of others, and not one backed the idea of leaving the pitch.

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