England manager Gareth Southgate and forward Callum Hudson-Odoi admitted they heard members of the crowd racially abusing the Chelsea player and Danny Rose following England’s 5-1 victory at Montenegro.
Hudson-Odoi admitted he heard monkey chants hurled in his direction and Rose’s direction during the match. Items were also thrown onto the pitch seemingly in a racially motivated attack on the players. Additionally, Raheem Sterling celebrated his goal with an open ears gesture, which he told Sky Sports was a reaction after Rose told him about the chants.
Southgate on Hudson-Odoi being racially abused in Montenegro on 1st England start: “In this day and age you are ashamed that it can happen ... the joy of a young player who has had such a fantastic game to be overshadowed by that is hugely disappointing.”pic.twitter.com/Ok457KqhR9— Rob Harris (@RobHarris) March 25, 2019
“It’s unacceptable,” Southgate told beIN Sports following the match. “I heard it myself on the bench and we’ll report, as we should.”
Hudson-Odoi on monkey chants in Montenegro: “When you are hearing stuff like that from the fans it’s not right, it’s unacceptable & hopefully UEFA deal with it properly... when I went over there me and Rosey heard it ... they were saying monkey stuff” beIN pic.twitter.com/MCZkZN9gYQ— Rob Harris (@RobHarris) March 25, 2019
Hudson-Odoi described the abuse as “monkey stuff” to beIN Sports on the day he marked his first England start. “I was enjoying the game as well,” he said, “and to hear stuff like that is never right, but as I said, you’ve got to have a strong mentality.”
The 18-year-old also shared that Rose and Sterling had previously had discussions with him about the sport’s persistent racism problem and how to tackle it. “They were like, ‘Listen. In football, you’re always going to get stuff like that,’” Hudson-Odoi said. “‘People are always going to be rude to you or say stuff you don’t want to hear and it’s part of football, so sometimes you’ve just got to block it out of your head and just keep going with the game,’ but at the same time, that should never happen in football.’”
Hudson-Odoi also said Rose has “a strong mentality” and hoped he was handling the situation well. “Hopefully UEFA deal with it properly,” he said.