Poland confident England’s visit for World Cup qualifier won’t be marred by racism after Raheem Sterling and Jude Bellingham suffered abuse in Hungary… but Polish players won’t take the knee before kick-off
- England’s players suffered sickening racial abuse during win over Hungary
- Raheem Sterling and Jude Bellingham were targeted in World Cup qualifier
- Gareth Southgate’s men head to Poland for next away game on Wednesday
- Polish FA officials are confident there won’t be a repeat of any abuse
- Home team will not join England in taking the knee before kick-off in Warsaw
Poland have tried to give assurances to England players they won’t face a repeat of the racism suffered in Hungary when Gareth Southgate’s men travel to Warsaw – but the home side will not take the knee before kick off.
The Poles are confident they don’t need to take extra precautions for Wednesday’s World Cup qualifier with UEFA protocols put in place after their stadium was partially closed as a punishment for fans’ behaviour against Italy in 2018.
Their FA spokesman Jakub Kwiatowski said: ‘Poland national team matches are attended by different fans than league games and we don’t expect any racist behaviour.
England players, including Raheem Sterling (pictured), were subjected to racial abuse and pelted with objects during last week’s 4-0 World Cup qualifying victory over Hungary
‘We haven’t had any racism in the international games for many years. Due to that we are not going to take any extra precautions apart from everything that has been done so far (UEFA three-step procedure).
‘At our matches we have normal fans and families, not any hooligans. We don’t expect any problems.
‘As a national team we are not going to take a knee but we are going to show respect in a different way as we did at Wembley earlier this year.’
Poland say they will follow guidelines if there is any incident of racism. That means the referee stopping the match and instructing stadium authorities to read out an announcement calling on spectators to stop.
England faced down a torrent of abuse at the Ferenc Puskas Arena in Budapest last week
Polish FA officials are confident there will be no repeat of the abuse England suffered in Budapest when they visit Warsaw for a World Cup qualifier this Wednesday
If that doesn’t work, officials can suspend the match and ultimately abandon the game if the discriminatory behaviour doesn’t stop or is repeated.
When Poland visited Wembley in March, they remained standing but pointed to Respect badges on their shirts while England’s players took the knee.
After the disgraceful scenes in Budapest, attention will turn to Poland who have a chequered history regarding racism in the past.
The Dutch team complained of monkey chants during training in Krakow at Euro 2012 which was held in Poland and Ukraine.
Racial chants were also directed at teen Jude Bellingham while he warmed up during the game
England’s players all took the knee before kick-off, a gesture which was greeted with hostility
The following year club side Legia Warsaw were fined £25,000 for ‘racist behaviour’ during a game against TNS in Wrexham.
In 2018, part of the national team stadium in Warsaw was cordoned off for one match after Poland fans made racist chants at an away game in Italy.
Their honorary FA President and legendary former player Zbigniew Boniek has made controversial remarks about racism before and said he was personally opposed to taking the knee, stating: ‘I am absolutely against such actions.’
England players expect there to be booing from some fans inside the stadium in Warsaw next week when they take the knee though that has also been the case at some grounds in England including Burnley and Millwall.
Manager Gareth Southgate and his coaching staff are pictured also taking the knee pitchside