Gareth Southgate praises England players for making ‘major statement’

Gareth Southgate felt his England players made a “major statement” in getting their Euro 2020 qualifier against Bulgaria in Sofia halted twice as he reflected on what Greg Clarke, the Football Association chairman, called “one of the most appalling nights I’ve seen in football”.

England’s three starting black players – Tyrone Mings, Raheem Sterling and Marcus Rashford – were subjected to monkey chants with Mings, the debutant, saying he had first heard them during the warm-up. In line with Uefa’s three-step protocol, England reported the abuse to the referee, Ivan Bebek, who passed on a message to be broadcast over the PA system for it to stop.