Pep Guardiola has backed a ‘walk off’ campaign to combat racist abuse of players.
Several England players reported racist chanting during Monday’s 5-1 Euro 2020 qualification win in Montenegro, with Manchester City star Raheem Sterling cupping his ears to the Montenegro fans after scoring England’s fifth goal.
The incidents followed alleged racist abuse of Sterling from Chelsea fans in December and Guardiola, who manages Sterling at club level, has backed a ‘walk-off’ policy to combat racial abuse.
‘We could do that (walk off),’ Guardiola told the press ahead of his sides clash with Fulham.
‘Football is a strong weapon to defend the principles of humanity. People said you can’t mix football and politician but that’s not true.
‘The club and the players can do it and we would follow. We’d do it. I’m not alone at the club, it would have to involve the chairman and CEO and the captain so why not?
‘I’m not alone in the club – you involve everyone, including my captain – and together we’d decide whether to. The situation only changes when you do something.
‘The problem isn’t about football itself but society. The extreme right is there, we are not safe. The messages that are being sent to win elections. You always have to complain when it happens. Raheem’s behaviour showed us the reality of our society.’