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UEFA charge Montenegro with racist behaviour against England

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UEFA has formally charged Montenegro for the racial abuse aimed towards the England players in Monday’s Euro 2020 qualifier.

The Three Lions smashed Montenegro 5-1 in Podgorica following goals from Michael Keane, Ross Barkley (twice), Harry Kane and Raheem Sterling.

It enabled England to already move four points clear at the top of Group A upon winning their opening two games and scoring eight goals in the process.

But the triumphant night was clouded by the home supporters in Montenegro, who directed racist chants at the England players.

Manager Gareth Southgate revealed that Tottenham full-back Danny Rose was targetted upon receiving a yellow card towards the end of the match for a late challenge and vowed to report it.

Now UEFA has released a statement confirming that their disciplinary proceedings have begun against Montenegro for five different charges.

  1. Setting off of fireworks.
  2. Throwing of objects.
  3. Racist behaviour.
  4. Crowd disturbances.
  5. Stairways blocked

The UEFA Control, Ethics and Disciplinary Body (CEDB) will handle the case on May 16.

Despite Montenegro boss Ljubisa Tumbakovic declaring that he heard no such racist chants himself, the Football Against Racism in Europe (Fare) organisation announced they had identified the game beforehand as a “high risk” for racism.

“Fare designated the Montenegro vs. England match as a high risk in regard to the possibility of racism taking place,” read Fare’s statement.

“We had an observer present who picked up evidence of racial abuse. Our monitoring team have been compiling the evidence we have before presenting it to UEFA.

“We commend the reaction of the England players involved, no human being should have to face abuse and vilification for their race or identity, something that many Montenegrins will understand from the divisive and bloody recent history of the Balkans.

“We hope that UEFA will act decisively, the sanctions that could be applied for an offence of this kind range from a partial stadium closure to full stadium closure. These sanctions are being applied regularly for offences in UEFA competitions, often against resistance from supporter groups and football stakeholders.

“The challenge of tackling racism and other forms of discrimination in European football however remains an ongoing issue. The societal change and education that is the ultimate solution is slow to take place. Even in the countries of Western Europe where there has been investment and focus on these issues discrimination remains a stain on football.”