Gareth Southgate won’t lead his side off the field should any of his players suffer racist abuse at the World Cup in Russia for fear of expulsion from the tournament.
Left-back Danny Rose has told his family not to travel to Russia as the Tottenham defender is fearful they could suffer from racism.
However, Southgate believes walking off in protest at abuse would be counter-productive as he believes England can set an example as one of the most diverse teams in the competition.
“In an idealistic world people would say ‘you should do that’ (walk off the pitch) but it seems the realities of that would be you would be thrown out of the tournament,” Southgate said on Wednesday.
“I don’t think the players would want that because they have worked all their lives to get to a World Cup.”
As recently as March the Russian football association was fined 30,000 Swiss francs (25,000 euros, £22,000) by global governing body FIFA following racist chants by supporters during a friendly international against France.
“It’s not something we want to be talking about, but it’s something we should talk about,” added Southgate, who insists support systems have been set up for his players in case of racist incidents.
“For me the biggest impact we can have is the interaction between probably one of the most diverse teams that’s ever gone to a World Cup.”
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