England manager Gareth Southgate blasts racism controversy at Hartlepool United ahead of Euro 2020 qualifier against Czech Republic

Ahead of Friday’s Euro 2020 qualifier in Czech Republic, England manager Gareth Southgate has commented on events that took place at Victoria Park last month.

Friday, 11th October 2019, 11:45 am
Updated Friday, 11th October 2019, 11:45 am
Gareth Southgate, Manager of England speaks during an England Press Conference at Sinobo Stadium ahead of the UEFA Euro 2020 qualifier between Czech Republic and England at Eden Arena on October 10, 2019 in Prague, Czech Republic. (Photo by Justin Setterfield/Getty Images)

England will secure qualification for next summer’s tournament with a victory in Prague tonight. Though plenty of discussion has surrounded the risk of racism overshadowing the occasion, particularly during Monday night’s match away to Bulgaria.

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The Three Lions’ players had previously been subject to racist abuse during their qualifier in Montenegro in March. But Southgate was quick to point out that the problem exists far closer to home, using Pools as an example.

“We don't look at other countries in a way that we don't shine a mirror on our own,” he said.

“What happened in Hartlepool a couple of weeks ago was probably worse than things I've seen or heard about in many other countries in the world. So, I think we have to be very careful in how we cover everything.”