'Welcome bro': England's reception in Kosovo very different to recent games marred by racist abuse

England players and fans were offered a warm welcome in Pristina and other cities for their Euro 2020 qualifier against Kosovo.

Both countries' flags were put up around the capital along with banners that read "welcome and respect" - ahead of a game that England went on to win 4-0 on Sunday evening.

One shop front had a poster of England forward Raheem Sterling with the words "welcome bro".

The Kosovans' friendly greeting was in stark contrast to some of England's international matches this year, including against Bulgaria and Montenegro which were marred by racist abuse directed at black players including Sterling.

The positive welcome is also a reminder of the gratitude felt by people in Pristina and in the rest of the country for the UK's involvement in its liberation from what was then the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia after the 1998-99 Kosovo war.

Some children were even named Tonibler in honour of the former prime minister Tony Blair following his role in the NATO military campaign against ex-Yugoslav president Slobodan Milosevic's regime.

Hundreds of England fans travelled out for the game - which was the team's last competitive match before next summer's tournament - in the 13,000-seat Fadil Vokrri stadium.

Gareth Southgate's side were already top of their group but needed to win to ensure they would be among the top seeds for the 30 November draw.

Goals from Harry Winks, Harry Kane, Marcus Rashford and Mason Mount secured the victory.