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England: Gareth Southgate understands Bulgaria reaction to racism concerns

England: Gareth Southgate understands Bulgaria reaction to racism concerns

Monday's game against Bulgaria will be played in a partially closed stadium, with 5,000 of the 46,000 seats to be left empty following racist behaviour by Bulgaria fans against Kosovo and the Czech Republic in June, something Mihaylov does not address in his letter.

Southgate, who suggested his players would respect Uefa protocols, made the point that England would be foolish not to look at the country's own issues with racism and he mentioned the alleged abuse in a National League game between Hartlepool and Dover in September.

It can also be revealed that the men's senior team had received no such briefing since just before the World Cup almost a year earlier, despite nearly half the squad changing between then and the Montenegro game.

The BFU was fined 40,000 euros ($44,000) by UEFA for "discriminatory" chanting and because fans threw fireworks.

"That has been relayed to Bulgaria in whatever way it has been relayed and the way it has been pitched could appear provocative, or that we are the people laying the subject on the table".

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UEFA has a three-step protocol to deal with racism. I was talking to Ross Barkley the other day and said I've never seen a finisher like him.

"I believe we're creating and we're form of getting that successful mentality. Everything else is hypothetical as we don't know the situation we will be in as a team or I will be in as a manager".

"It was just more of a thing I was waiting for a call-up because the last global break I didn't get a call-up from anyone".

"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", Abraham added.

Raheem Sterling has hailed England's burgeoning winning mentality and is targeting glory at Euro 2020. "I feel that a lot of the players don't just want to be involved in tournaments and finish in the quarter-finals or the semi-finals and say that was a good run. It will be a hard task but it's definitely something that we all dream of winning". He's been there, he's been at the top level for years'. "That's when we'll be judged as a great front three or not".