Three Lions squad wear sweatbands bearing the message ‘Kick Racism Out of Football’ after black players were targeted by some home fans in Friday’s 3-0 win in Sofia
The England players wore sweatbands bearing the message 'Kick Racism Out of Football', the slogan of English football’s own anti-racism campaign, on Monday as they participated in a training session in preparation for Tuesday evening’s clash with Wales at Wembley.
Chair of Kick it Out, Lord Herman Ouseley, said: "This sends out a positive and powerful message that we need to remind ourselves that the game is open to all people from all backgrounds and nationalities, and to keep our behaviour in check even in the white heat international football can generate."
Racist chants were directed at the Three Lions’ black players in Sofia on Friday evening, with Manchester United winger Ashley Young and Arsenal winger Theo Walcott the targets of monkey noises. Several Bulgarian fans also made Nazi salutes.
After the match, the English FA immediately announced their intention to report the incident to Uefa, and European football’s governing body is believed to be waiting to study the report from the match delegate on Monday before deciding whether to take action.
Wayne Rooney said after the game: "As players we can hear it on the pitch. It has been going on for years and it is not right. It needs to stop and hopefully something will be done about it."
There is, however, also the possibility that the English FA could face action after Three Lions fans reportedly responded to the Bulgarians’ racist abuse with anti-Romany chants.