Gareth Southgate and Harry Kane keeping England focus on football - not racism fears

13/10/19 6:58pm

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Gareth Southgate looks ahead to Monday`s match in Bulgaria
Gareth Southgate looks ahead to Monday`s match in Bulgaria

Gary Southgate and Harry Kane are keen to keep the focus on Monday’s European Qualifier in Bulgaria – but say the England squad has a plan for how to react if there is any racist abuse in Sofia.

The match at the Vasil Levski stadium will be played with a partial stadium ban as a punishment from UEFA for racist incidents when Bulgaria hosted Kosovo and visited the Czech Republic - both in June.

Bulgaria manager Krasimir Balakov ahead of the game said that English football has a bigger problem with racism - dismissing the idea it was an issue in his own country.

Southgate, though, refused to be drawn on his counterparts words, appearing to be more concerned about the welfare of his players and the match itself.

Krasimir
Krasimir Balakov says Buglaria does not have a racism problem

Well I say the same as I said the other night in Prague, said Southgate.

We are guests in another country and I have always said we have as many issues in own country to resolve than anywhere else.

Everyone wants us to talk about football, for the players and both teams the same.

We had to prepare our players for what happened in Montenegro, so that was a process that we needed to go through before our next away fixtures.

Outside of that, we trust the authorities to make sure everything is in place and everybody involved in the game from both countries is wanting to talk about the match.

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Harry Kane says England players are focused on trying to beat Bulgaria on Monday
Harry Kane says England players are focused on trying to beat Bulgaria on Monday

Kane mirrored his manager`s words as they sat side-by-side at the Sunday news conference.

The most important thing is we are all fully focused on the game tomorrow night, getting the three points and putting us in a great position, said Kane.

We had a meeting at the start of the week on things that could happen but they might not happen. There`s obviously a protocol in place that UEFA have set.

From my point of view and the players` point of view, we are here to do a job on the football pitch and hopefully we don`t have to cross that bridge.

We will see what happens but our full focus is on the game.

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source : skysports.com












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