Emery backs UEFA to tackle racist abuse

Arsenal manager Unai Emery has confidence in UEFA to deal with the racism experienced in Bulgaria at the start of the week.

England’s black players were targeted throughout the Euro 2020 qualifier in Sofia, and the Bulgarian Football Union has been charged by UEFA over the racist behaviour of its fans.

Aleksander Ceferin, the president of European football’s governing body, spoke on Tuesday about ‘waging war’ on racism.

Under UEFA regulations, the BFU could face a full ground closure for their next competitive home match and a fine of 50,000 euros.

“I think firstly we need to be confident in the responsibility UEFA has to improve the situation and to finish with racism,” Emery said.

“Really, I know it’s not easy but I think they are going to do that and we need to also be strong in helping them.

“We were speaking about it two months ago and it’s the same. UEFA has to be strong to finish action like that.

“The responsibility is to all of us. We all have individual responsibility to be strong (when there is) unacceptable behaviour in that situation and to help everyone to finish that.”

England manager Gareth Southgate and his players were praised for their reaction during the Euro 2020 qualifier.

There were two breaks in play after racist chanting was reported to the match officials, which follows UEFA’s anti-racism protocol.

Asked about how Southgate handled the situation, Emery responded: “It’s difficult but the most important thing is that it’s not the responsibility of one coach, one player or one team. It’s for everybody.

“We need to be strong as a football world and also UEFA to finish that sort of behaviour. It’s a small moment and only some people showing this behaviour, but we need to close and finish this because it’s unacceptable.”

Arsenal forward Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang has been on the receiving end of racism in the past.

He is set to lead the line for the Gunners at Sheffield United on Monday, but fellow striker Alexandre Lacazette may have to settle for a place on the bench after his return from an ankle injury.

The Blades gave leaders Liverpool a scare earlier this month before the Reds secured a 1-0 victory and Gunners boss Emery is preparing for an equally tricky test under the lights at Bramall Lane.

“With their supporters, they are going to push us a lot, but we’re ready and we’re going to prepare for the match as best as possible,” he added.

“It’s a big challenge in each match for the three points. We want to give our supporters there a good 90 minutes and also try to win the game.”

Read Full Story

FROM OUR PARTNERS