Bale wants racists banned from competing


Welsh captain Gareth Bale has called for countries whose fans are repeat racist offenders to be banned from international football after reporting abuses of England’s Raheem Sterling and Jude Bellingham in Hungary.

Broadcasters reported that “monkey songs” were aimed at black England players while plastic cups rained down on the players as they celebrated goals near the corner flag.

Speaking ahead of his team’s World Cup qualifier against Belarus on Sunday, the Real Madrid winger questioned the lengthy investigations that usually follow such incidents and demanded more immediate action.

“I don’t know the seriousness of what to do, but the simplest thing is… if you ban fans from the stadium or if they keep doing it over and over, which seems to be what happens , then you ban the country from the competition, ”the 32-year-old said.

“If this country continues to do these horrible gestures then maybe the best thing to do is get rid of them, give them a suspension and I hope they learn their lesson this way.”

FIFA has opened disciplinary proceedings over the incidents in Budapest, which were condemned by the Association of Professional Footballers as well as British Prime Minister Boris Johnson.

Hungarian Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto said on Saturday that authorities must take action to prevent expressions of racism in football matches or in any other aspect of life. But he criticized the international media for saying there was a “racist and hostile” atmosphere in Puskas Arena.

“We certainly need to take action against some statements, but it is absurd to label the behavior of sixty or seventy thousand people on this basis,” Szijjarto said in a video posted on his official Facebook page.

Elsewhere, England’s Mason Mount called the behavior of the Hungarian crowd in the World Cup qualifiers “shame” but said his team had used it as motivation to score more goals and silence support at home in Thursday’s 4-0 win.

Bale added that his players would have his full support if they chose to step down in response to any racial abuse in the match against Belarus in Kazan.


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