Chelsea starlet Mason Mount slams 'unacceptable scenes' as England players suffer racist abuse in Bulgaria
Mason Mount has slammed the ‘unacceptable scenes’ as his England teammates were subject to racist abuse during their match against Bulgaria.
The Euro 2020 qualifier was punctuated with scenes of abhorrent abuse at the Vasil Levski National Stadium in Sofia as home fans aimed monkey chants and Nazi salutes at English players.
However despite the game being brought to a stop twice due to the sickening racism - first in the 28th minute and again before half-time – the Three Lions stood firm and thrashed Bulgaria 6-0.
Chelsea starlet Mount, who hails from Purbrook and is a lifelong Pompey supporter, made his thoughts clear on the abuse following the match.
He tweeted: ‘Unacceptable scenes tonight. There should be no place for that in football or society. Proud of the way the lads responded and rose above it. Top support from the travelling fans, we will always stick together as one.’
Former Southampton youth player Tyrone Mings, who was making his international debut, revealed he heard racist abuse in the warm-up.
He said: ‘I heard it before I even got to the other side of the pitch for the warm up.
‘We then spoke about it when we came in after the warm up and, obviously, I don't need to spell it out.
‘I think everybody heard the chants, but we stood together and we made certain decisions.
‘Just before half-time we were contemplating coming off the pitch because that was the next step after a stadium announcement but there were a couple of minutes to go to half-time.
‘So we thought we'd play the couple of minutes, go into half-time and talk about it then which we did and we made a collective decision.
‘Everyone was happy to continue, everyone was happy to see if things improved in the second half and I think it was important that we allowed the correct protocol to be followed and things were better in the second half.’
England boss Gareth Southgate said he was proud of his players after making a ‘major statement’ on and off the pitch by refusing to let the racists win in Bulgaria.
He added: ‘Throughout this, I know that whatever we do might be perceived as not being enough but I think we've made a major statement.
‘I think we've made a major statement with the way we played, through such difficult circumstances.
‘I discussed with all of the players and the substitutes that everybody was on-board. We knew that if anything happened in the second half, we were off.’