Reports of monkey chants directed at England players during 4-0 World Cup qualifying win
Gareth Southgate believes those in Hungria who racially abused Inglaterra players are “dinossauros” and hopes those fans who booed his players for taking the knee during Euro 2020 recognise the reasons behind the gesture.
Monkey chants were reportedly directed at Raheem Sterling and unused substitute Jude Bellingham by sections of the hostile home crowd at the Ferenc Puskas Arena as England ran out 4-0 winners against Hungary.
England’s players were also booed while taking the knee before kick-off and were pelted with plastic cups while celebrating their first three goals.
The World Cup qualifier, organised by Fifa, was played in front of bumper crowd despite the Hungarian Football Federation being handed a stadium ban by Uefa for incidents of discrimination involving their supporters during Euro 2020.
Southgate only learned of the reports of monkey chanting after the final whistle and was at pains to point out that English football has its own problems with racism to contend with, but praised his players for their reaction.
When asked whether English fans who booed his players taking the knee earlier in the summer would now understand why they do it, Southgate said: "Sim, eu acho que [the players] recognise the world is changing.
“Although some people are stuck in their way of thinking and prejuidices, they are going to be the dinosaurs in the end. The world is modernising.
“Hungary isn’t anywhere near as diverse as our populaton. It’s taken us a long time to get to where we need to get to and if other countries don’t have that diveristy probably not in their thinking.
“We’ll continue to try set the right example for young people in our country. I’m always conscious when I speak if I get the right tone or words. I never want to be dismissive of it. Our intentions are good. We hope people understand and respect that.”
Southgate added: “Our players can’t do anything more than have done in past two or three years and get right messages out. It’s for other people to protect them, me and the authorities.
“There’s a balance in the crowd. Not everyone at home causes problems. Our anthem was really respected, remarkably well. It’s not fair to criticse all the Hungarian fans, a lot were generous and behaved well.
“It’s similar to the situation at home. The individuals need to be dealt with, there’s evidence. People were filmed.”