England winger Raheem Sterling has suggested that there should be stronger punishments for fans who are found to have sung racist chants, after abuse could be heard from a section of Montenegro fans in Monday's 5-1 win.
There were several alleged incidents of racist chanting from some home fans throughout the game, the most prominent of which came as Danny Rose was booked in the dying embers of the match. Sterling opted to respond to the abuse by cupping his hand to his ear after netting the Three Lions' fifth goal.
"It's now time for the people that are in charge to put a real stamp on it because you can fine someone but what's that going to do?"— Sky Sports News (@SkySportsNews) March 25, 2019
Raheem Sterling calls for stadium bans after racist abuse: https://t.co/l6jm73WJAD pic.twitter.com/zDB8szlE4a
Speaking after the game, Sterling was asked by Sky Sports News whether a stadium ban would be a fitting punishment for Montenegro. He replied: "Yep. Something serious for them, to make them think twice about doing it again.
"It's now time for the people that are in charge to put a real stamp on it because you can fine someone but what's that going to do?
"You've got to make it harder - you've got to punish all the fans so they can't come to the games, you've got to do something that's really going to make them think twice. Because if their team can't play with fans it's going to be difficult for them and make them think twice about it.
"I can only, we can only, the FA can only do so much. We've got to leave this to the people in charge to make a proper stance on it. Just banning one or two people is not going to change anything, even to our fans I'd say the exact same thing."
UEFA are set to receive reports on the incidents from both the referee and match delegate, before deciding whether to involve themselves and punish Montenegro.
The governing body's regulations state that the minimum punishment for racist abuse from supporters is a partial stadium closure, but the disciplinary committee could still act to inflict a stronger punishment, such as disqualification from the tournament or an extended ban for all supporters.
The chants marred what was otherwise a comfortable victory for Gareth Southgate's side. After falling behind in the first half, goals from Michael Keane and Ross Barkley restored control for England, before Barkley, Harry Kane and Sterling all netted after the break to continue England's perfect start to their European qualification.
Source : 90min