Gareth Southgate brands racists as ‘dinosaurs’ after England players abused in Hungary

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 (AFP via Getty Images)
(AFP via Getty Images)

Gareth Southgate slammed the “dinosaurs” blighting football with racist abuse after England players were targeted during their World Cup qualifier in Hungary last night.

There were eye-witness reports of monkey chanting as Jude Bellingham and Raheem Sterling appeared to be picked out by the home fans for abuse in the Puskas Arena in Budapest.

Missiles and a flare were thrown on to the pitch and the FA have asked FIFA to investigate the incidents after taking statements from players.

The Puskas Arena will be empty for the next two UEFA-organised matches due to sanctions over the racist and homophobic abuse that marred Hungary’s Euro 2020 fixtures, with the third match of a stadium ban suspended.

With no away fans in attendance, the jeers that met England’s players taking the knee before kick-off in the now-familiar stance against racism and discrimination were deafening.

With monkey chants then reported later in the game, it is not the first time Southgate has had to deal with the fallout from such behaviour towards his team.

Euro 2020 qualifiers in Montenegro and Bulgaria were tarnished by similar incidents, with Southgate speaking out against further abuse here following his side’s 4-0 win.

"We weren’t really aware of it on the bench," he said.

"It sounds like there has been some incidents and everybody knows what we stand for as a team and that that’s completely unacceptable.

"Everything is being reported to UEFA and we have to see what happens from there.

"They (the players) recognise the world is changing. Although some people are stuck in their way of thinking and prejudices, they are going to be the dinosaurs in the end because the world is modernising.

"Hungary isn’t anywhere near as diverse in their population as our country is, it is still taking us a long, long time to get to where we need to get to and inevitably, if other countries don’t have that same level of diversity, it is probably not in their thinking in the same way as in our country.”

Additional reporting by PA

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