England Euro 2020 qualifiers: Tammy Abraham says Three Lions will walk off against Bulgaria if subjected to racist abuse

Tammy Abraham speaks to the media
Tammy Abraham speaks to the media

Tammy Abraham says the England squad have agreed to walk off against Bulgaria if they are subjected to racist abuse in their Euro 2020 qualifier.

The Three Lions travel to the Czech Republic and Bulgaria for back-to-back Euro 2020 qualifiers this weekend, and Abraham says England are prepared to defy UEFA's racism protocols and walk off the pitch if someone is targeted.

The second game, in Sofia, will be particularly scrutinised as the hosts will be playing with the Vasil Levski National Stadium partially closed as a sanction following racism in the home games against both Kosovo and the Czech Republic.

England's players received similar abuse in their qualifier against Montenegro in Podgorica, where they stayed on the pitch and ran out 5-1 winners.

Manager Gareth Southgate has said that, going forward, England will follow UEFA's three-step protocol for racial abuse, but Abraham says that the players have now held meeting about it and have agreed to take much stronger action.

"Yes, we've had meetings, several meetings about it since we've arrived yesterday," Abraham said.

"We've touched base on how to deal with the situation. Harry Kane even said that if it happens and we're not happy with it, we speak to the player and if he's not happy, we all come off the pitch together.

"It's a team thing. Don't isolate one person, we're a whole team. If it happens to one of us, it happens to all of us.

"We did speak about that. Harry Kane did ask the question about instead of going through the three steps, if we decide that we want to stop the game and we want to stop the game - no matter what the score is - if we're not happy with it, as a team we'll decide whether or not to stay on the pitch."

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UEFA protocols

Under the UEFA protocols The first step is for the referee to made aware of any racism and halt the game for an announcement to be made, secondly - if the abuse continues - the referee will suspend the game for a period of time.

The third and final step will see the official abandon the game - but Abraham has suggested, if England's players believe someone is not comfortable, captain Harry Kane will lead them off the field of play before the three steps are played out if they are not working.

Ashley Young was subjected to monkey chants in Sofia during an England game in 2011, but the Bulgarian Football Union (BFS) only received a 40,000 euros (£34,000) fine by UEFA for "discriminatory" chanting and for the lighting and throwing of fireworks.

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Abraham, in his second England squad after scoring eight Premier League goals at the start of the season, believes offering abusers more than one chance is also the incorrect approach.

"For me personally, I think it's just one strike because it gives people excuses," he added. "One time, twice, three times - it gives silly people excuses.

"Like we were all saying yesterday, if it happens and let's say there's a warning or whatever in the stadium, then it happens again, we have to make a decision as a team and with the staff."

England targeted in Montenegro

Abraham was not part of the squad when a number of black players were bombarded with jeers and monkey chants in Montenegro in March.

But he revealed he spoke to Chelsea team-mate Callum Hudson-Odoi, who was one of the individuals who had to deal with the situation.

"I was watching on TV," he added. "I didn't quite understand what was going on because it's not really the same on TV but to know what those guys were going through out there, it's not acceptable.

"No-one wants to see that. You just want to see the beautiful game. I spoke to Callum as well. He's a strong character, he played well."

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