Poland is confident England’s visit to the World Cup qualifier will not be marred by racism after Raheem Sterling and Jude Bellingham were assaulted in Hungary… but Polish players won’t kneel before kick-off
- England players suffered sickening racist abuse during Hungary win
- Raheem Sterling and Jude Bellingham were targeted in World Cup qualifier
- Gareth Southgate’s men will head to Poland on Wednesday for the next away game
- Polish FA officials are confident there will be no repeat of abuse
- Home side don’t join England in taking knee before kick-off in Warsaw
Poland has tried to reassure England players that they will not face a repeat of the racism in Hungary when Gareth Southgate’s men travel to Warsaw – but the home side will not be on their knees for kick-off.
The Poles are confident they won’t need to take extra precautions ahead of Wednesday’s World Cup qualifier with UEFA protocols put in place after their stadium was partially closed as punishment for fans’ behavior against Italy in 2018.
Their FA spokesman Jakub Kwiatowski said: “The Polish national team’s matches are attended by fans other than league matches and we do not expect any racist behaviour.
England players, including Raheem Sterling (pictured), were subjected to racial abuse and pelts during the 4-0 World Cup qualifier win over Hungary last week.
‘We haven’t had racism in the international matches for years. Therefore, we are not going to take any additional precautions apart from everything that has been done so far (UEFA three-step procedure).
“At our matches we have normal fans and families, not hooligans. We don’t expect any problems.
“As a national team we are not going to get down on our knees, but we are going to show respect in a different way like we did at Wembley earlier this year.”
Poland says they will follow guidelines if racism is involved. That means the referee stops the match and instructs the stadium authorities to read an announcement calling on the spectators to stop.
England faced a torrent of abuse at Budapest’s Ferenc Puskas Arena last week
Polish FA officials are confident there will be no repeat of the abuse England suffered in Budapest when they visit Warsaw next Wednesday for World Cup qualifiers
If that doesn’t work, umpires may interrupt the match and eventually stop the match if the discriminatory behavior doesn’t stop or repeat.
When Poland visited Wembley in March, they stopped but pointed to the Respect badges on their shirts as the England players got to their knees.
After the scandalous scenes in Budapest, the focus will be on Poland, which has a turbulent history of racism in the past.
The Dutch team complained about monkeys singing during training in Krakow at Euro 2012, which was held in Poland and Ukraine.
Racial chants also targeted teen Jude Bellingham as he warmed up during the match
England’s players all took the knee before kick-off, a gesture that was greeted with hostility
The following year, club side Legia Warsaw was fined £25,000 for “racist behaviour” during a match against TNS at Wrexham.
In 2018, part of the Warsaw national team’s stadium was cordoned off for one match after fans of Poland uttered racist chants during an away game in Italy.
Their honorary FA chairman and legendary former player Zbigniew Boniek has made controversial remarks about racism before, saying he personally opposed taking the knee, saying: ‘I am absolutely against such actions.’
England players expect there will be cheers from some fans at the stadium in Warsaw next week when they take the knee, although that has also been the case on some grounds in England, including Burnley and Millwall.
Manager Gareth Southgate and his coaching staff are also on the knee in the photo