London, June 9: England manager Roy Hodgson has expressed fear over his Three Lions team being subjected to racial abuse during Euro 2012.
Hodgson said he was aware of the potential threat his black players might face in Ukraine, after Union of European Football Association (UEFA) confirmed that the Dutch squad had been the victims of racist chanting during a training session in England’s base city of Krakow on Wednesday.
“The risk of racism exists and we will probably have to deal with it,” The Telegraph quoted Hodgson, as saying.
According to the paper, Dutch captain Mark van Bommel in his statement outlined the incident that reportedly happened with his team during their training session.
“As at one moment there was a lot of noise coming from a specific stand, the team decided to train at the other side of the stadium, which was much quieter. A few players have heard sounds, which could be described as possible monkey chants. However, the training staff on the pitch were not aware of this,” he said.
Van Bommel added that he would lead his team off the pitch if there was racist abuse during a game in the tournament.
The slow reaction of the Football Association (FA) caused alarm throughout the football world with various prominent figures questioning why an investigation had not been immediately launched into the incident.
The FA is also concerned that England might be subjected to similar abuse when their Euro 2012 campaign kicks off on Monday amid fears that the problem is even more widespread in Ukraine. (ANI)