Sheffield Wednesday: Here's everything Garry Monk had to say about the racist abuse of England players in Bulgaria

Garry Monk said he believes Bulgaria should be thrown out of qualification for the next European Championships after England players were subjected to racist abuse during their match in Sofia on Monday evening.

By Alex Miller
Wednesday, 16th October 2019, 5:39 pm
Updated Thursday, 17th October 2019, 10:21 am

The Sheffield Wednesday manager also praised Gareth Southgate and his team for the way they handled the situation, making clear he believes any decision to walk off the field of play in those circumstances should be taken out of the player’s hands.

Monk watched the game on television as the likes of Raheem Sterling, Marcus Rashford and debutant Tyrone Mings suffered sustained booing and monkey chanting by an audible section of the Bulgarian support.

And the 40-year-old is under no illusion as to what he believes should be the punishment, calling for zero tolerance approach from football authorities.

“Bulgaria shouldn't be playing in the next Euro qualifiers,” he said. “They should be banned from it.

“What's the worst punishment? It's them lot being excluded isn't it? That's zero tolerance. You're not playing any more qualifiers, you're banned for two years or whatever it might be.

“It has to be something along those lines otherwise it doesn't mean anything.”

Play was stopped twice in the first half after England manager Gareth Southgate complained about the situation to match officials. Current UEFA protocol suggests only on a third official stoppage should a team consider leaving the field, a ruling that has sparked international debate.

England manager Gareth Southgate (second left) and match referee Ivan Bebek (third right) during the UEFA Euro 2020 Qualifying match at the Vasil Levski National Stadium, Sofia, Bulgaria.

And Monk, who revealed he would take his Sheffield Wednesday players off the field at the very first instance of similar abuse from the terraces, said he believes the process is far too lenient.

“My own thinking is that I don't really understand the protocol. Three chances? Why would you give someone three chances to do something like that?

“It should be one and you're done. It shouldn't happen at all, but if it does you should be done. I just don't understand that side of it.

The Owls boss said he felt sympathy for Gareth Southgate and his players for having to follow the process and registered his admiration for how they handled themselves during the 6-0 win.

Sheffield Wednesday manager Garry Monk said he believes UEFA should come down hard on Bulgaria after England players were subjected to racist abuse during their Euro 2020 qualifier in Sofia on Monday evening.

He said: “It shouldn't be in their hands to make that decision. There's been a lot of talk about 'should they have walked off after the second time or the first time?'. The protocol should be taken out of their hands where they go straight away. Anyone is doing that - you walk. That's what I feel.

“I thought Gareth Southgate and the players and the staff were fantastic the way they handled that.

“It’s a difficult situation and it's mind-blowing that it's still going on. But it is and I thought they dealt with it as a manager and as players and as staff, they couldn't have handled that any better.”

A Bulgaria fan holds up a 'No Respect' message mocking the UEFA anti-racism campaign during Monday's match.