Montenegro charged over ‘racist behaviour’ at England Euro 2020 qualifier match

Uefa has opened disciplinary proceedings against Montenegro, including a charge of racist behaviour, following England’s 5-1 Euro 2020 qualifying victory in Podgorica on Monday night.

Several England players – including Raheem Sterling, Danny Rose and Callum Hudson-Odoi – were the target of racist abuse during the match.

Montenegro also face charges relating to crowd disturbances, the throwing of objects, setting off of fireworks and the blocking of stairways at the Gradski Stadion, Uefa has announced in a statement.

Uefa said the case would be heard by its Control, Ethics and Disciplinary Body on May 16, prior to the next round of qualifying fixtures in June.

Montenegro’s next match will also be at home when they face Kosovo on June 7.

Kick It Out campaigner Troy Townsend said the incidents showed Uefa had “failed the game” in its handling of racist abuse.

Asked for his reaction, Townsend told Sky Sports News: “Outrage, because in this day and age we’ve had the opportunity to deal with this kind of stuff, we’ve had the opportunity to put some strong messages out about racism and UEFA have failed the game again.

Not to take the gloss away from another great England performance but all the conversation now is how our black players were being racially abused and how there was no action taken at the time as well.”

Uefa regulations state that if supporters engage in racist behaviour then “the member association or club responsible is punished with a minimum of a partial stadium closure”. 

Sterling, speaking after the match, called for Montenegro to be hit with a stadium ban.

It is 2019 and I think there should be a real punishment for this, not just for the few people being banned,” he told BBC Radio 5Live.

It needs to be a collective thing. This stadium holds 15,000 and I think the punishment should be that as a nation your fans are chanting racist abuse so I think it should be the whole stadium can’t watch it.

Then when that ban is lifted your fans will think twice not to do anything silly like that because they all love football, they all want to be there to support their nation so it will make them think twice to do something silly like that.

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