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England players to discuss racism response plan - Southgate

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There should be 'real punishment' for racist abuse - Sterling
Gareth Southgate says England players will meet to "prepare" how to react to racism before their Euro 2020 qualifier in Bulgaria on 14 October.Bulgaria's Stadion Vasil Levski will be partially closed for the visits of England and Czech Republic because of the racist behaviour of fans in June.England players were also subjected to racist abuse in Bulgaria in 2011.
"It is a concern, we're not confident that we'll go there and nothing will happen," the England manager said.Southgate added: "It's something that we've already planned. We've already planned what our schedule looks like and we're going to discuss it with the players before we go, because we're aware that there is history there and we want to make sure that we're all prepared for what might happen and how we want to respond."The Football Association has said a fan in the away end at Wembley was ejected and arrested for "discriminatory abuse" during England's 4-0 win over Bulgaria on Saturday.The man was was arrested on suspicion of an aggravated public order offence, but later released without charge.Uefa ordered the closure of Bulgaria's national stadium following racist behaviour by their fans in Euro 2020 qualifying games against Czech Republic and Kosovo in June.Last month, Bulgarian club sides PFC Levski Sofia and PFC Lokomotiv Plovdiv were punished by Uefa for racism during Europa League games.England have already encountered racist abuse during their Euro 2020 qualifying campaign, with Montenegro ordered to play their next home match behind closed doors following the racist abuse of England players by supporters in March.
'Sad we have to appeal for fans to behave'
England's next match is against Czech Republic in Prague on 11 October and Southgate has reiterated calls for England fans to provide a positive representation of their country.Seven England fans were arrested during the Nations League Finals in Portugal in June following clashes with police.The Football Association condemned those responsible at the time, saying they were "not true England supporters" and an "embarrassment to the team", the incidents coming a week after the release of their 'Don't be that idiot' campaign, warning fans about anti-social and "embarrassing behaviour".Southgate said it was "sad we have to appeal" for fans to behave."It should be a given - sadly it isn't," he said. "Sadly, we are going to a place where people go, travel anyway for nights out from our country. What we don't need to see is behaviour that I am afraid happens on our own high streets, so it is not something that is just England supporters."I'm afraid that it is a societal issue of people with alcohol unable to control themselves. But we certainly don't want to be taking that abroad and that being a representation of our country."
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